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Bible Study

Book of Daniel

Chapter 11, Part 45

Chapter 11 of Daniel is a continuation of chapter 10.  We can look at chapters 10 – 12 as a book.  10 is the introduction, 11 is the body of the book where the information is written and 12 is the closing, or summary.  Pastor Bob Deffinbaugh wrote,  “Chapter 10 focuses on our Lord, as revealed to Daniel in his vision (verses 5-6). Chapter 11 focuses on the “kings of the North and the South.” Chapter 12 focuses on Daniel and the faithful, who die without receiving the promise (heaven), with the assurance of attaining it after their resurrection.” 

The angel, Gabriel, is about to reveal more detailed information to Daniel about the rulers who were to come and what all will mean to Israel .  In chapter 11 we also find more details relating to the Seventy Weeks of chapter 9.  This information will be especially important to Daniel’s people.  We’ll find out more about the nations symbolized in Nebuchadnezzar’s image (chapter 2) and about the beast (chapter 7).   

Understand this before we delve into the meat of this chapter: satan did not want this message, the answer to Daniel’s prayer, delivered.  He had his prince over Persia resist Gabriel’s passing through to Daniel.  He did not want the prophecy about Persia and Greece known to Daniel or to anyone else.  He succeeded in detaining Gabriel for 21 days until Michael (Jesus, some believe) came to fight with him. 

Chapter 11 was written as prophecy.  We who read it now see it in part as history and some prophesy.  J. Vernon McGee says that chapter 11 is a bridge between the Old and New Testaments of the Bible called the “intertestamental period.”  This is what has been considered the “silent period.”  Pastor McGee said, “The intertestamental period was the time of Israel ’s greatest travail.  They suffered at the hands of both Syria and Egypt .”  During this time Antiochus Epiphanes (a type of the coming antichrist) of the Seleucids rose.  Antiochus Epiphanes means “visible god.”  He was evil and severely persecuted the Jews.  Another name for Antiochus Epiphanes is the Great Profaner.  Not a name I’d want to be known by!  We will become well acquainted with this evil one in chapter 11. 

V. 1 – “Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.)”   If you look at chapter 10 verse 21 you will see that the translator opened a parenthesis but did not close it.  That’s because 11:1 is its completion.  These two verses should read like this, “…but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.  Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.)”    

The angel made it clear to Daniel that he was the one who upheld Darius and strengthened him.  This might also be the angel that God sent to shut up the lions’ mouths in chapter 6 when by decree of Darius Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den for praying to God rather than to Darius.   

V. 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.”  This verse of Daniel is the beginning of prophecy and revelation that causes division among Bible scholars.  They say this Book was written later than it actually was because of the exact fulfillment of the prophecies Daniel wrote.  But that’s not true.  Daniel wrote every word of this prophecy with revelation from God through the angel.  The following disclosures of facts in chapters 11 and 12 are why the angel was dispatched to Daniel and why satan opposed the angel so vigorously.   

Although Daniel didn’t live long enough to see any of the prophecies fulfilled, the Jews have lived through and seen every phase of his prophecy fulfilled except that which will occur during Great Tribulation.  J. Vernon McGee said, “Obviously, it (the vision) was recorded for the comfort and encouragement of the people of God who would live through the difficult days it describes. Also it was written for all generations as a testimony of the fact that God knows the end from the beginning.”  I also believe that God sent the angel to once again comfort Daniel.  He was elderly and was facing the fact that his death would come while his people were still in captivity.   

If this has been written as history, as some suppose, the omniscience of God would not have been seen.  Those who believe that Daniel wrote this prophecy as delivered to him before any of these events transpired are blessed.  We can see the awesomeness of God in this answer to prayer for a humble servant.   

In previous chapters, 2, 7 and 8, Daniel was given dreams and visions of what was to come.  These were done with symbols like the winged-lion and the ram, etc…  Here the angel gives him the information straight up.    Once again I quote Pastor Bob Deffinbaugh said, “Daniel did not know the names of all the kingdoms involved in the events leading to the end—he simply knew them to be nations north and south of Israel. Neither did he know the names of all the kings involved. Nevertheless, this prophecy was given to encourage and strengthen Daniel, and so it did.”  The three kings that came after Cyrus were Cambyses, son of Cyrus, Smerdis, an imposter, and Darius Hystaspes. 

Note: Smerdis, 528 b.c., second son of Cyrus the Great, king of Persia . He is also called Bardiya. He was assassinated by his brother Cambyses II, who kept the murder a secret. Patizithes, the Magian custodian of Cambyses' palace, deposed Cambyses (who was campaigning in Egypt ), put forward his own brother Guamata to impersonate Smerdis, and proclaimed him king. After a reign of seven months the false Smerdis was overthrown (521 b.c.) and slain. Darius I succeeded Guamata. 

The fourth king who would rule was Xerxes who is thought to also be Ahasuerus the king in the Book of Esther.  Xerxes inherited his father’s great wealth and had accumulated his own wealth.  He used much of this money to hire warriors for his army who would sign on to go with him in his attempt to defeat Greece .  He failed.  Heroditus who lived back in that day said that Xerxes amassed an army of great number.  He wrote it as five millions, two hundred eighty three thousand, two hundred and twenty men (5,283,220) from the east.  Add to that 300,000 Carthagenians from the west were added to their number later.   

V. 3, 4 – “And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 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.” 

The failure of Xerxes to defeat Greece opened the door to a long lasting feud between the Persians and the Greeks.  I believe this is what drove Alexander the Great to so violently conquer Persia .  Remember when we studied chapter 8 I told you that Alexander the Great road over Persia as though his feet never touched the ground?  That’s what this was.  

Oftentimes we think that kingdoms fall when they are weak and their economy is failing, but this wasn’t the case with Media-Persia.  Alexander defeated and conquered them at the height of their power.  God often takes down the mighty in their mightiest power to demonstrate His mightier power.   

Again we see the truth of this with Alexander.  Remember he died at about 33 from excess of alcohol.  Alexander was a cruel, blood-thirsty tyrant, but God used him in His plan to fulfill prophecy.  He had a great mind, not only for military strategizing, but in all ways, yet he wasted it on evil. 

Daniel’s prophecy about the division of the kingdom of Alexander being “divided toward the four winds” was fulfilled by, 1. Seleucus who ruled Syria and Babylon in the east: From him came the line of the Seleucids. 2. Antigonus who ruled Asia Minor in the north. 3. Ptolemy the son of Lagus of the Lagidae had the south. 4. Cassander who ruled Greece and the neighboring countries had the west. 

Bible Study

Book of Daniel

Chapter 11, Part 46

V. 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.”  We are going to see the kings of south and north mentioned several times in this chapter.  For that reason we will see who these kings are.   

The kings of the south are two of Alexander’s four commanders who took over ruling in his place when he killed himself with alcohol poisoning.  The king’s names and territories are Ptolemy to the south: He ruled in Egypt and neighboring countries and Lysimachus in the north who ruled Thrace which included Asia Minor .  He also ruled countries along the Hellespont and the Bosporus .  I’ll give you the details of these two straits on a separate page.

In one of the commentaries I read about these two kings, it said that the boundaries of these countries were often “changed” or “obliterated” after wars.  New boundaries were set up according to who won where.  However, for this study to make sense, we need to keep the original divisions of Alexander’s territories as proof of the prophecies in Daniel.   

It’s very interesting to me that we don’t hear anymore about the kings of the east or west, so I went to find out why.  It’s because all the territories that comprised Alexander’s empire eventually became part of either the northern or southern kingdoms. 

“And the king of the south shall be strong …”  That is Ptolemy who ruled Egypt, Lybia, Cyrene, Ethiopia, Arabia, Phoenicia, Coelesyria, Cyprus, and several isles in the Aegean sea, and many cities in Greece making his a strong kingdom.  

“…and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.”  This verse refers to Seleucus who conquered Lysimachus and annexed Macedon and Thrace to Syria .  This gave him power over three quarters of Alexander’s empire, making his kingdom stronger that Egypt .  John Gill gives us an idea of how large Seleucus’ kingdom was.  “…he reigned over Macedonia , Greece , Thrace , Asia , Syria , Babylonia , Media, and all the eastern countries as far as India ; even from Taurus to the river Indus , and so likewise from Taurus to the Aegean sea .”  That’s a far reaching domain!   

It’s ironic to consider those kings and political leaders in comparison to these we have today.  Those kings spent their time looking out for themselves and taking whatever they desired to own from others regardless of what method they had to use.  They even stood against God in their quest for more and more of the earthly stuff that could never give them eternal life in heaven.  

This reminds me of these kings.  They are of a certain extremely aggressive faction in the world now that has almost completely overrun Europe and are now trying to gain a foothold in the US .  The methods they use for accumulating territory are barbaric, even demonic.  They are so evil that even their own people are not safe from their talons.  They train their children from the earliest age to hate Jews and Americans; building in them a desire to see both killed.  Their use of terror tactics has been felt as many countries have experienced the sting of their fury.  They blow themselves and their innocent victims to smithereens because that will give them amazing blessings in heaven, they are made to believe.  They demand that lands which are covenanted to Israel be stripped from them and given to their corrupt government.  They use torture and dismemberment as a daily practice to succeed in their quest for more power and rid the world of “infidels.”  They reproduce at an unbelievable rate.  They are nothing special except in their own eyes just as the above kings were.  But, they two have caused much grief and pain, mostly to Israel , but to our country as well.  Sadly, the ones now are more determined than ever to acquire the entire world for their god’s glory. 

V. 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.”  For many years the nations of Egypt and Syria were at war with each other.  When Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt , second king in succession from Ptolemy and Antiochus Theus, king of Syria , third in succession to Seleucus, were reigning, they decided to make peace.  The agreement was that Antiochus Theus would divorce his wife Laodice and send her away with their two sons.  Once they were gone, Theus was to marry Ptolemy Philadelphus’ daughter, Berenice.  Ptolemy delivered Berenice to Theus along with a very large dowry.   

“…but she shall not retain the power of the arm;” means that Berenice didn’t keep the attention of Antiochus for very long.  After two years of marriage to Antiochus, Berenice’s father, Ptolemy died.  At this point, Antiochus who loved Laodice called her to return to him along with their children 

“…neither shall he stand,” This woman was scared because she had been sent away once and lost all she had.  What was to protect her from her husband’s next indiscretion?  Not wanting to risk her position of authority again, she poisoned Antiochus.  With him gone, Laodice placed her son Seleucus Callinicus on the throne and she sat in power with him.   

“…nor his arm:” meaning his son with Berenice. 

“…but she shall be given up, and they that brought her,” It wasn’t enough for this woman that she killed her husband and now ruled the empire with her sons, she had Berenice killed too.  Many of her attendants who tried to defend her were also killed along with the son of Berenice and Antiochus Ptolemy.  

“…and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.” Might mean the two men she counted on to protect her, her father and her husband, but both were already dead.  

V. 7-9 – “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: 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. So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.”   

“But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate…”  The root spoken of here is Berenice’s father, Ptolemy Philadelphus.  Out of him came her brother, Ptolemy Euergetes who ruled in place of their father at his death.     

“…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:”  Ptolemy Euergetes heard of what was going on with his sister Berenice, so he called up an army and headed out to save her and her child.  Unfortunately, he and they were too late to help.  But Ptolemy was furious at what had happened to his sister and nephew, so he invaded the king of the north’s territory.  He conquered Syria , Cilicia , the upper parts of the Euphrates and most of Asia .   

“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.”  When an uprising began in Egypt , Ptolemy prepared to head back.  Before he left, however, he plundered the wealth of that land of Seleucus .  He took back with him forty thousand talents of silver and precious vessels of silver and gold, and two thousand five hundred images of gods.  Returning the gods to Egypt is how Ptolemy got the sir name Euregetes.  It means Benefactor and was given him by the people as a compliment for returning their long missing gods.  Ptolemy of Egypt lived four years longer than Seleucus king of Syria , who died as a result of a fall from his horse.   

“So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.”  Ptolemy entered Seleucia and killed Loadice and her son.  He put guards there to hold the territory for him and they stayed there for many years holding that ground for Egypt .  The king of the south definitely came into the kingdom of the king of the north.   

It’s estimated that if Ptolemy had not returned to Egypt when he did for the uprising, he would have acquired all of Alexander’s kingdom and even more than he had.   

Bible Study

Book of Daniel

Chapter 11, Part 47

V. 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.”   

“But his sons shall be stirred up…”  Last week we found out that Seleucus Callinicus died as a result of falling from his horse.  This verse refers to his sons, Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus the Magnus.  The reason they were really angry and seeking war with the king of the south is because of what Ptolemy Euergetes did.  Remember that Laodice was Antiochus Theus’ wife and that she had Antiochus, Bernice, and the son of Bernice killed so that she could place her son on the throne.  Ptolemy Eurgetes, Bernice’s brother made war with the king of the north to avenge Bernice’s and her son’s deaths.  He took thousands of dollars in silver and gold and 2,500 hundred idols from Seleucia and took them back to Egypt .  This is why Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus made war with the king of the south.  They wanted revenge for what Ptolemy Eurgetes had done. 

“…and shall assemble a multitude of great forces…” These two men built up a large contingent to fight with them.  Thousands of men were enlisted.  At this point the older brother, Seleucus enthroned himself.  His problem was, although he ruled for about three years, he was weak of spirit and body.  This king was poor and had no control over the army he ruled.  As a result, two of his generals, Nicator and Apaturius, collaborated together and poisoned him.  His brother, Antiochus then took over the throne.  He was a stronger, more capable man and he motivated the army forth to do his will in avenging his family.  He succeeded in retaking Seleucia and regaining power and control in Syria .   

After retaking Syria , some of the lands he also took in his warring were Berytus, which was called "the face of God", the town of Botris , Palestine, Rabata Massane, or Rabatamana, and Rabbathammon.  He set on fire the towns of Trieres and Calamus.   

The kings of the north and south made a truce, but all the while were preparing for war.  Complete peace was never achieved.   

“…and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return…”  In spring of the following year Antiochus went to war with Egypt ’s general, Nicolaus, defeating him so soundly that he considered attacking Egypt itself.  He’s the one who “overflowed (armies were sometimes compared to running water:)  Who is this that cometh up as a flood, whose waters are moved as the rivers?” Jeremiah 46:7) and passed through.”   

V. 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.”  

“And the king of the south shall be moved with choler …”  “Choler” is wrath or anger which in this case leads to destruction.  When Euregetes died, his son, Ptolemy Philopater took the throne.  This happened just about the same time that Antiochus Magnus took the throne of Syria when his brother died.  Philopater, a lazy, evil king, was very angry with what Antiochus had accomplished.  The idea that Antiochus Magnus might invade Egypt was too much for this king and it motivated him to move his armies against Antiochus.     

“…and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north:” Philopater, in his wrath, moved his large army to the outskirt of Egypt to Raphia, a city between Rhinocorura and Gaza to confront Antiochus. 

“…and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.”  “He” being Antiochus, came to fight Philopater along with a large army.  John Gill says that their armies numbered like this:  “Ptolemy king of Egypt consisted of seventy thousand foot (footmen), five thousand horse (horsemen), and seventy three elephants and that of Antiochus king of Syria consisted of sixty two (some say seventy two) thousand foot, six thousand horse, and a hundred and two elephants.”  Neither of these men had a great overwhelming number of soldiers to fight against the other, however, how they led these men in battle determined the outcome the achieved.   

Antiochus lost this war.  Ten thousand of his footmen and three thousand of his horsemen were killed.  Philopater captured four thousand of his men and took them prisoner.  He also took most of the elephants.  

In comparison, Ptolemy Philopater lost fourteen hundred footmen and seven hundred horsemen.  All this was an amazing fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy written long before these events occurred.   

V. 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.”  

“And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up…”  Ptolemy Philopater was a foolish man.  Thinking that he had defeated his enemy so was safe, he made peace with Antiochus then went back home and resumed his life of brutal passions and vices.  He was a lascivious man who indulged himself with every evil thing.  If he had taken the time to follow up on his victory, he would have become ruler of the entire kingdom of Antiochus .   

Here we come to the root of his trouble.  It’s the same family curse Nebuchadnezzar and the other kings had suffered from: Pride.  In his pride of victory of Antiochus, Philopater relaxed thinking he was safe.  He wasn’t strengthened by his success because he used it so badly that even his subjects turned on him.   

“…and he shall cast down many ten thousands…”But the worst part of the lifting up of his heart was his affront to the Jew.  When this wicked man entered Jerusalem , he tried to force his way into the temple where he planned to offer illegal sacrifices which would be an abomination before God and would render the temple unclean.  The Jews were able to hold him off and he left, but he left with a burning anger for the Jews.  He immediately began persecuting the Jews.  When he returned to Alexandria, Egypt, he came against the Jews who had been living there since Alexander’s time. These Jews enjoyed all the privileges Alexandria could offer.  In his fury at having been turned away from the temple, Philopater persecuted the Alexandrian Jews massacring forty to sixty thousand of them.   

“…but he shall not be strengthened by it…”  With his slaughter of the Jews and the rebellion against him by his own people, Philopater gained no strength through his victory.  Rather – his kingdom was weakened and ruined. 

V. 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.”   

“For the king of the north shall return…”  Antiochus was coming back.  He wasn’t finished with war against Egypt .  What made it easier for him is that as with Alexander, Philopater killed himself through all his indulgences.  When he died, his five year old son, Ptolemy Epiphanes, took the throne.  Antiochus thought this was too good to be true and the perfect opportunity to come against Egypt once again.  By this time, he had conquered many lands and increased his wealth many times over.  He now had sufficient funds to enlist a massive army “greater than the former” to fight with him.  Some say his army was now made up of three-hundred thousand footmen beside horsemen and elephants.  

“…after certain years…” means that this return would take place after the fourteen years of pseudo-peace between Ptolemy and Antiochus and after Ptolemy’s death.  It’s with great joy that Antiochus ignores the peace treaty and now sees him self gaining victory over this child king and his incapable army.  As one Bible scholar wrote:  

“How he succeeded we will presently see; for here new complications enter into the affairs of these kingdoms and new actors are introduced upon the stage of history.”   

V. 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.”   

“And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south…”  That is, the king of Egypt , Ptolemy Epiphanes, the five-year old king.  Antiochus king of Syria and Philip king of Macedon joined forces against Egypt .  They wanted to take the kingdom and divide it between them each taking the lands nearest to them.  At this time, Antiochus invaded Coele-Syria and Palestine .  In just two campaigns against them, Antiochus conquered both provinces; their cities, and their outlying areas.  He was cruel and indifferent and perpetrated some of the vilest crimes against the people.   

Others who rose up against him were his own countrymen Agathocles and Agathoclea who had been favorites of Philopater.  Agathocles was Prime Minister of Egypt and he’s the one who ruled the country as the child was too young to be head of state at that time.  This guy walked in such pride that the people rebelled against him.  The people finally came against this evil man, surrounding the palace one day, they forced their way in.  The friends of Agathocles took him and killed him quickly although he pleaded with them for his and his sister’s lives. 

Agathoclea, sister to Agathocles, was a mistress of Ptolemy Philopator, King of Egypt.  After Ptolemy had killed his wife, also his sister, Eurydice, Aga­thoclea became his favorite.  After Ptolemy died, she and her friends kept this a secret so they could continue stealing from the royal treasury.  They also put their heads together to plan to depose Ptolemy Epiphanes and place Agathocles on the throne.  

When the people rushed the palace and took Agathoclea, her sisters, and their mother Oenanthe and, in a frenzy of anger, tore them limb from limb.   

“…also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.”  Now a new power comes on the scene: The robbers of thy people.  According to what I read, this is also translated “the breakers of thy people.”  This was a nation yet unknown.  It was a small nation on the Tiber River which grew rather quickly to become a force to be reckoned with.  The leaders of that country were wanted to try their hand on the global playing field to see if they could amass even more land and wealth.  After much great success, this country reared its head and became one of the world powers.  Its name was and is, Rome . This was the beginning of many hundreds of years of Roman dominance.   

Rome came to the aid of Ptolemy Epiphanes.  They were determined to override the plot of Antiochus and Philip so that nothing would happen to the young king.  It was the Romans who repaid Philip and Antiochus for what they did to the Jews.  

Bible Study

Book of Daniel

Chapter 11, Part 48

I ended the last study because it had become so long.  We didn’t have time to finish verse 14.  So I will that that now beginning with a refresher of what we had from 14 last week. 

Ptolemy Philopater lived a debauch lifestyle.  He indulged in every form of sexual perversion and drank himself to death.  He could have become king over all the kingdom of Antiochus had he given himself to conquering the lands.  He chose instead to make a pseudo-peace with Antiochus the Great.   

Verse 14 introduced new a new player in the field: Rome .  After Ptolemy Philopater died from his excessive lifestyle, his five-year old son, Ptolemy Epiphanes became king.  But evil men in the kingdom plotted to take the kingdom from him.  At the same time, Antiochus king of Syria and Philip king of Macedon joined forces against Egypt .  They saw an opportunity to take over the kingdom from the child.  Rome , an upstart just beginning to grow, came to his defense.  Of Rome , one author wrote, “Henceforth the name of Rome stands upon the historic page, destined for long ages to control the destiny of the world, and exert a mighty influence among the nations; even to the end of time.”  

V. 14b – Rome came to the aid of the child to keep him safe and his kingdom intact.  Their interference came in 200 B.C and was their first important step forward to growing into a world power.  Rome is one of the most important aspects of Daniel’s vision.  Seeing them come on the scene here to help Epiphanes establishes them in our minds as real and historic.  It proves that Daniel’s prophecy which predicted this nation to rise was and is true.   

“…but they shall fall.”  One mistake Rome made was to become “robbers” of Israel .  Their coming against God’s covenant people in His covenant land would eventually lead to their downfall.  No nation can stand against Israel and survive.  If this country’s leaders don’t change their chant to Israel about dividing Jerusalem , we will find out first hand how the wrath of God feels.  We can’t become “robbers of Thy people” and hope to stand as the super power we have been since our beginning.  People nowadays don’t realize that pushing Israel to divide and give away what the Lord promised to her is cursing her.   

V. 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.”   

Aristomenes, and old priest, was appointed guardian to Ptolemy Epiphanes.  Aristomenes’ first act was to protect the king and Egypt against Antiochus and Philip. He dispatched an army under General Scopas into Palestine and Coele-Syria while Antiochus was at war with Attalus in lesser Asia .  They were successful in taking all of Judea under subjection to Egypt .  When Antiochus heard of this conquest, he dropped his war efforts against Attalus and went home quickly.  When Aristomenes  heard that Antiochus had returned from the war, he sent Scopas back north to fight him in order to continue in control of that territory.  Scopas and Antiochus met at the mouth of the Jordan River .  Antioochus soundly defeated Scopas and sent him fleeing for his life to Sidon where Antiochus set up a siege wall (Jeremiah 6:6 ;Ezekiel 4:2), or as this verse states it, a mount. Antiochus was able to quickly regain control of Palestine and Coele-Syria.   

Egypt sent out three generals more able than Scopas to defeat Antiochus and raise the siege “mount” and regain control of Judea .  They also failed in their attempt.  Antiochus was formidable and Scopas was forced to surrender or starve to death.  He and his 10,000 troops chose to surrender without any dignity but only their lives in tact.  They were stripped naked and sent on their way back to Egypt .  This is also the fulfillment of “and take the most fenced cities” as Sidon was one of the strongest cities both in its protections surrounding it and its defenses.   

V. 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.”  The “glorious land” is Israel .  With his final victory over Scopas at Sidon, Antiochus the Great took the Holy Land away from the Egyptians for good.  Judea and Jerusalem had passed from the king of the South to the king of the North.   

John Gill, in his commentary, says of “which by his hand shall be consumed” that “…by his numerous army, and the foraging of his soldiers, eating up and destroying the fruits of the earth wherever they came; otherwise the land of Judea, and the inhabitants of it, were not consumed and destroyed by him at this time; but rather brought into more flourishing circumstances, having many favours and privileges bestowed on them by him, on account of the respect they showed him; for, on his coming to Jerusalem, the priests and elders went out to meet him, and gladly received him and his army, and furnished him with horses and elephants, and helped him in reducing the garrison Scopas had left, as before observed: hence some render the words, "which by his hand was perfected" ; restored to perfect peace and prosperity, which had been for some years harassed and distressed by the Egyptians and Syrians, in their turns being masters of it; the elders, priests, and Levites, he freed from tribute, gave them leave to live according to their own laws, granted them cattle and other things for sacrifice, and wood for the repairing and perfecting of their temple.” 

Rome continued to grow and become a force to be reckoned with.  One of the articles I read about this time said that although Egypt could not stand against Antiochus, Antiochus could not stand against Rome .  The author went on to say that no nation could stand against Rome any longer.  Syria was eventually overcome by Rome and it became a Roman possession. Rome also took over the Holy Land from Antiochus and transferred several cities in Judea to Syria and placed taxes on the Jews.  For the first time since Jerusalem became God’s City, she was under the rule of another nation, Rome , and she would be completely taken up by it and ruled by their iron hand.

 Bible Study

Book of Daniel

Chapter 11, Part 49 

V. 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.”  Having conquered much of Alexander’s kingdom, Antiochus, king of the north, craved to add Egypt to his kingdom.  He ruled over Judea with one thought, to make peace with the king of the south.   

“…and upright ones with him…” are the Jews that crossed over to Antiochus’ religion and gave him homage (service and respect).  These Jews impressed Antiochus because they turned away from real God to serve his false gods.  He rewarded them with great favors for this behavior.  These Jews stayed true to Antiochus till the end.  

“…and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her…” Antiochus devised the plan he thought would synch his victory in taking over Egypt : He gave his daughter, Cleopatra, to Ptolemy V as wife so that through her he could gain influence in Egypt .  He knew warring against Egypt would not be successful because Rome was caring for its young king and she was powerful, so this was his alternative plan, beat them from within. 

The Cleopatra mentioned here in Daniel is not the one made famous in movies.  That Cleopatra wasn’t born till 100-years later.  

Some people would probably consider this a stretch, but we have a situation similar to that right now.  Of all the countries in the world that Islam has overtaken, the United States still stands as a bastion of strength they cannot over come, therefore, they are trying to take this country from within by electing a non-American, Islamic, racist, radical to the highest office in the land.  Whatever your position on Obama, know that his intentions are to eat up America and spit us onto the plate of the Islamo-facists.  He’s not looking for our higher good, but for the fame and fortune that would come from being the one who, as Nikita Khrushchev said in his 1956 speech as he pounded the podium with his shoe, “Would take over America without firing a shot.”  I pray America gets a jolt of some sort to allow them to realize this before it’s too late.  I pray we are all ready to go home with Jesus, because if this happens, we are outta here!  

“…but she shall not stand on his side...”  Antiochus’ plan failed when his daughter turned away from his plan and honored her husband.  This became obvious when Cleopatra and Ptolemy sent letters of congratulations to Rome for their victory over her father when he was defeated and driven out of Greece by Acilius.  

“…neither be for him.” meaning that Egypt would not become part of the kingdom of the north. 

V. 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.” 

“After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many …” Having lost his attempt to add Egypt to his kingdom and thereby unifying Alexander’s kingdom under his rule, he turned to the Aegean Sea and Greece and the surrounding islands.  John Gill says of this, he “took Rhodes , Samos , Colophon , and Phocea, and many other islands; and also several cities of Greece and Asia , which lay on the sea coasts; it being usual with the Jews to call such maritime places islands…”   

“…but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease…”  Rome was not impressed with losing cities and provinces to Antiochus so sent out generals to defeat him and take back their lands plus others.  Again I refer to John Gill’s commentary where he says, “The "prince" here may design the Romans in general, who, on their own behalf, or for their own honour, sent out armies and fleets against him, to put a stop to his insults over them…”   

Here is a partial list of people that came out against, and won victories over Antiochus: 

1. Marcus Acilius, who beat him at the straits of Thermopylae

2. Livius Salinator, who got the victory over his fleet about Phocea where he sunk ten of his ships, and took thirteen

3. Aemilius Regillus, who got the better of his fleet at Myonnesus, near Ephesus .

4. Lucius Scipio, who, in a land fight, beat him at Mount Siphylus , with an army of thirty thousand against seventy thousand, killed fifty thousand footmen of Antiochus's army, and four thousand horsemen, and took fourteen hundred prisoners, with fifteen elephants and their commanders, and so drove him out of lesser Asia. 

“…without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.”  The “reproach” Antiochus meant to be Rome ’s turned around onto his own head.  Rome won victory after victory against him which humiliated him as they would not agree to a peace treaty until Antiochus agreed to pay the bills for the war and turn over many hostages to Rome , including his son, Antiochus Epiphanes.   

V. 19 – “Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.”  Antiochus turned from the battle and fled to his capitol city of Antioch . 

“…but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.”  The cost of the war was 50,000 Euboean talents.  The breakdown of the repayment goes like this: five hundred talents were to be paid down; two thousand five hundred at the ratification of the treaty by the senate of Rome ; and the other twelve thousand to be paid yearly, at a thousand talents each year.  This massive debt caused financial difficulty for Antiochus.  Because of that, he went to rob the temple of Bel at Jupiter Elymaeus.  When the people realized what was going on, they came against Antiochus and his soldiers and killed them all.  Antiochus never returned to Syria .  Matter of fact, his body was never found or buried.  He was 52-years old and had reigned 37 years. 

V. 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.”  This was Seleucus Philopator, son of Antiochus the Great, the Little Horn.  He took his father’s throne and raised taxes against the people for two reasons.  1 was his greed.  2 was the fact that he had to raise the 1,000 talents a year to pay Rome .  His taxes on the citizens were very high and he raised them every year during his twelve year reign.   

After Seleucus paid the full 12,000 to Rome , Heliodorus, his treasurer, poisoned him.  At this same time, Antiochus Epiphanes came home from Rome to Antioch .  In other commentaries it is believed that Antiochus Epiphanes killed Seleucus. 

V. 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.”  The vile person mentioned here was Antiochus Epiphanes, or Antiochus IV.  The angel had warned Daniel that after Seleucus there would arise a “vile” person who would take the kingdom by an unconventional manner.   

David Guzik, Pastor of Calvary Chapel of Simi Valley in his commentary wrote, “He shall come in peaceably: Apart from the murder of his older brother, Antiochus IV didn't use terror to gain power. He used flattery, smooth promises and intrigue.” 

In Pastor Adam Clarke’s commentary on Daniel 11, he said, “He flattered Eumenes, king of Pergamus, and Attalus his brother, and got their assistance. He flattered the Romans, and sent ambassadors to court their favour, and pay them the arrears of the tribute. He flattered the Syrians, and gained their concurrence.”

In a previous study I mentioned that Antiochus IV called himself “Epiphanes” meaning “illustrious one,” and the people called him “Epimanes” meaning “madman.”  This is that same person.  He’s the one that is vile because of his immoral, degenerate, self-indulgent lifestyle.   

The throne actually should have gone to Demetrius Soter, son of Seleucus IV, but Antiochus gained the throne by as above mentioned flattery and intrigue which included turning away the Egyptian army that was about to invade the north.  

Bible Study

Book of Daniel

Chapter 11, Part 50

Let’s recall that in Daniel Chapter 11:21-45 we are seeing a foreshadow the first 42 months of the Tribulation.  The king of the north is a representation of antichrist.  The antichrist will come from the Lebanon , Syria /northern Iraq area. 

In a sermon I read about Daniel 11:21, I found this quote from Pastor Amy Bickel: 

“Why do you think the Islamic extremists are fighting so hard to get us to leave? Yes, they hate us, they see us as the infidel and the Great Satan. Yes, they despise democracy because to them it represents a destruction of morals and their culture. But an even more powerful reason for wanting us to leave is because that they believe their Mahdi will be coming soon from Iraq, and he can’t come and take over as long as the United States is there. We wouldn’t let him.” 

We need to understand that the antichrist is someone that will come up out of nowhere and begin to take over everything. Can Barak Hussein Mohamed (his Muslim appellation) Obama be the one satan will use to move all Americans and allied forces out of Iraq to open the gateway for the antichrist?  I believe it is possible.  It’s my contention that, if he is elected, we will see prophecy fulfilled at a rapid pace. Actually, many Christians believe Obama is the antichrist.  I don’t think he‘s smart enough.  Anyway, he comes from the wrong birthplace.   

I feel it is my duty to suggest that each of you spend time reading and studying Ezekiel, Joel, I and II Thessalonians, Matthew chapters 24, 25, and Revelation as well as Daniel.  We need to get to the place where we know if we see an antichrist trying to take position.   

V. 22 – “And with the arms of a flood shall they be over flown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.”  With help from kings of surrounding countries such as Eumenes and Attalus, Antiochus Epiphames (the madman) gained peace in the northern kingdom.  Heliodorus who came against Antiochus is said to have been “crushed and destroyed,” or “overflown.”                                                              

The “Prince of the Covenant” is considered to be Onias III whom Antiochus removed from service in the temple.  Antiochus then sold the priesthood to his brother Jason for 440 talents of silver.  Jason would pay him another 150 talent for the right to build a place of exercise (a gym) where young men could be trained for the Olympics etc…  Antiochus was delighted to have this money as he had been paying such high taxes to Rome .  Now the debt was paid off and he was trying to restock his coffers 

V. 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.”  Antiochus won as many victories through lies, deceit, and smooth talking as through warring.  He was able to talk people into things they should have known better than to believe.   

Antiochus went to Egypt with a small number of valiant men whom he positioned in places of authority.  Going there with a full army would have made the leaders suspicious and war would have broken out and Antiochus would taste defeat.  Going with few men allowed them to walk about freely and he began to speak and the people began to listen and Antiochus “subdued” Egypt and took control. 

V. 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.”  Antiochus went in peace, not overtly looking for war, to all the wealthy cities of Egypt making friends and receiving of their abundance.  What he did gain he liberally passed around to all who were loyal to him, small or great.  He made many loyal friends.  These friends had no idea of his treachery and, in this way he was able to attain great wealth and position from his giving. 

All of Antiochus' father and forefathers had all desired to rule Egypt .  None was able except Antiochus Epiphanes.  With the wealth he had gained from the cities and provinces he visited, Antiochus was able to lavish gifts upon the.Egyptians  This assured their loyalty and willingness to serve.  This allowed Antiochus to gain much power and possession of lands.  He was wily and devised ways to hang on to the lands he attained, but this would be true only for a short time.  Soon enough, Ptolemy Philometor would reach the age where he would govern the land and would free Egypt from Antiochus. 

V. 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.”   

Once Ptolemy Philometor was of age, Antiochus roused himself, put on his courage, raised a large army and came against this king of the south.  This is the second time Antiochus went into Egypt .  Unlike when he entered with a few well chosen men above, this time he went in fully armed and prepared for war.  Ptolemy also raised a large army and came against Antiochus, but he could not stand against Antiochus. 

Bible commentator, John Gill, said, “The king of Egypt could not stand against Antiochus; the two armies met between Mount Casius and Pelusium, where they came, to a battle, and Antiochus got the victory: upon his second victory over the forces of Ptolemy, he took Pelusium, and led his army into the very heart of the kingdom, and had it in his power to have cut off all the Egyptians, to a man; he made himself master of Memphis, and all the rest of Egypt, except Alexandria, which held out against him.”  

Ptolemy didn’t lose the battle because he wasn’t prepared, or didn’t have a large enough army, or didn’t have effective weapons.  He lost because his trusted commanders had given their allegiance to Antiochus and devised schemes to deliver war information to Antiochus. They were traitors.   

V. 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.”  Ptolemy’s trusted friends and commanders, those who ate at his table, turned against him.  They either gave Ptolemy bad counsel or deserted him during battle or before.  This allowed Antiochus to overrun Ptolemy like a flood. 

overflow: H7857 – שׁטף -  shâṭaph - shaw-taf - A primitive root; to gush; by implication to inundate, cleanse; by analogy to gallop, conquer: - drown, (over-) flow (-whelm), rinse, run, rush, (throughly) wash (away). 

Maccabees 1:18, 19 says that Antiochus, "… made war against Ptolemee king of Egypt : but Ptolemee was afraid of him, and fled; and many were wounded to death. Thus they got the strong cities in the land of Egypt and he took the spoils thereof.''

Ptolemy lost many people during this war with Antiochus.  Many were killed outright and many wounded. 

Bible Study

Book of Daniel

Chapter 11, Part 51

V. 27 – “And both of 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.”   

Last week I made the following comment. “Actually, many Christians believe Obama is the antichrist.  I don’t think he‘s smart enough.  Anyway, he comes from the wrong birthplace.” Since that time I have seen and heard things about the president elect that make me wonder about my assessment of him.  Is it possible that we have seen the antichrist take the throne of the largest, wealthiest, most important world power?   

Let me quote from Walvoord and Zuck’s commentary of the Old Testament about what Antiochus Epiphanes did after his victory in defeating Ptolemy: 

After his military victories, Antiochus Epiphanes’ prestige and power rose with the help of a comparatively small number of people.  He evidently sought to bring peace to his realm by redistributing wealth, taking from the rich and giving to his followers. (Emphasis added.) 

Does this plan sound familiar?  If you have followed anything about Obama, you will recognize his rhetoric in this statement made in my copy of the Walvoord and Zuck commentary which was printed in 1985.  These authors could not have known Obama would rise to take power without proving his citizenship, and with the same promises another antichrist had made, peace and no more poverty in the world.   

There is much controversy about whether or not we are in the last days before Jesus comes.   Look at this Scripture and see if it rings true in your spirit,  

“The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’  Do not go after them or follow them. For:as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot : They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”   

Sadly, most of the world doesn’t believe, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.”  Is Barak Hussein Mohamed Obama a Muslim antichrist?  Could be one of the many Jesus said would come.  Is he THE antichrist?  I’m reserving opinion on that till I see what he does in office.

One difference between Antiochus and Obama is that Antiochus had to make war to come to power, and his power was precarious at best.  Obama just had to smile pretty and say, “Change,” a million and ten times.  His level and duration of power is yet to be seen.   

“And both of these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper …” The king of the north and the king of the south will plot and plan each other’s destruction.  They will work together, eat together and attend meetings together, but all the while working against each other and telling lies to deceive each other to lesson suspicion.   

John Gill, in his commentary on Daniel 11:27, said, “Antiochus pretended a great respect for Ptolemy, and that he had nothing more at heart than to take care of his affairs, and defend him against his brother Euergetes, whom the Alexandrians had set up for king; when his design was no other than to seize the kingdom of Egypt for himself: on the other hand, Ptolemy seemed greatly satisfied with his uncle's protection, and to place great confidence in him; when his view was to disappoint his scheme, and come to an agreement with his brother; neither of them meant what they said…” 

Does political intrigue and lying sound familiar? 

For Antiochus and Ptolemy and for Obama, God’s plan is what will prevail.  Obama doesn’t even know he’s a pawn in God’s larger scheme of things.  We Christians who read and study our Bibles know that, if Obama isn’t the antichrist, he is a form of antichrist.  He sealed his own fate with God the day he stood on the platform and said that there are many ways to God.  This is blasphemy and totally contrary to what the inspired Word of God teaches.  

V. 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.”  After Antiochus defeated Ptolemy and they wrote a covenant of peace between them, Antiochus left Egypt for the north. While on the way home, someone started a rumor that he was dead.  This motivated Jason to take back his position of high priest from his bother Manelaus.  Jason took one thousand men and chased his brother into a castle and killed thousands of people. II Maccabees 5, 6 and 11-15 of tells this assault. 

Now when there was gone forth a false rumour, as though Antiochus had been dead, Jason took at the least a thousand men, and suddenly made an assault upon the city; and they that were upon the walls being put back, and the city at length taken, Menelaus fled into the castle: 6 But Jason slew his own citizens without mercy, not considering that to get the day of them of his own nation would be a most unhappy day for him; but thinking they had been his enemies, and not his countrymen, whom he conquered. 11 Now when this that was done came to the king's ear, he thought that Judea had revolted: whereupon removing out of Egypt in a furious mind, he took the city by force of arms.  12 And commanded his men of war not to spare such as they met, and to slay such as went up upon the houses. 13 Thus there was killing of young and old, making away of men, women, and children, slaying of virgins and infants. 14 And there were destroyed within the space of three whole days fourscore thousand, whereof forty thousand were slain in the conflict; and no fewer sold than slain. 15 Yet was he not content with this, but presumed to go into the most holy temple of all the world; Menelaus, that traitor to the laws, and to his own country, being his guide. 

The covenant Antiochus broke was not the peace treaty with Egypt .  It’s the Jewish covenant with God that he detested and wanted done away with. Of this covenant, John Gill said, “…not the covenant he had made with Ptolemy, which was a fraudulent one; but the covenant between God and the Jews; whereby they became a distinct and peculiar people, having a religion, laws, and ordinances, different from all others; for which reason they were hated by other nations, and particularly by Antiochus”   

Antiochus was evil.  While in Jerusalem , he ordered his soldiers to kill everyone they met, regardless.  Young and old women, children and virgins, old and young men were killed without mercy.  The numbers I read are staggering.  In three days, he had eighty thousand killed, forty thousand were bound and another forty thousand were sold into slavery.  He then entered the holy temple of God and stole all the vessels of gold and silver and the hidden treasure that amounted to 1,800 talents.   

After all had been accomplished Antiochus returned to his own land of Antioch with his wealth from Egypt and his plunder from Jerusalem .

Bible Study

Book of Daniel

Chapter 11, Part 52

V. 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.” 

“At the time appointed…” is the time God had set for Epipanes to return from Syria to Egypt for a final attempt at taking possession of that country. 

“…he shall return, and come toward the south…”  Antiochus heard that Ptolemy Philometor had been deposed and his brother enthroned in his place.  This gave Antiochus the idea that he could now defeat Egypt while they were in unrest over this.  He left Syria under the false pretense of reestablish Ptolemy to the throne.  He took a large army with him but it did him no good. 

“…but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.” Although he never gained authority over Egypt , Antiochus’ first two expeditions into that country were not total failures.  This trip south would be a crushing, final blow to all his dreams of reorganizing the former kingdom of Alexander the Great.   

V. 30 – “For the ships of Chittim ( Macedonia in Greece was called the Land 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.”  

“For the ships of Chittim ( Macedonia in Greece was called the Land of Chittim .)  shall come against him…”  That is, Rome sent her embassadors, Caius Popilius Laenas, Caius Decimus, and Caius Hostilius, on ships from Macedonia to stand against Antiochus’ plans.  Antiochus had struck up a friendship with Popilius while he was in Rome .  Antiochus offered his hand to Popilius to be kissed, but rather the hand was ignored.  Popilius was there on a mission for Rome and friendship would not come into play.  Popilius gave Antiochus the decree freom Rome to back off and go home. Popilius demanded that Antiochus answer the decree, but he refused saying he needed to consult his “friends” about it.  Now, here’s a bit of trivia for you. This is where the “line drawn in the sand” probably began.  Popilius, having a rod in his hand, drew a line all around Antiochus and told him to confer with his friends, but not to cross the line until his answer was delivered.  Antiochus caved and agreed to follow the decree of Rome to return to the north and not pursue his plan of attack. 

“…therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant…”  

We know that Antiochus Epiphanes is a foreshadow of the antichrist.  When he lost this last attempt to defeat Egypt and take control of her, he returned to the north with a bitter heart.  His anger and frustration were taken out on the Jews in Jerusalem .  There he entered the temple and desecrated it with foul offerings of pig.  He scattered pig blood all over the inside of the temple.  This not being evil enough, he also sprinkled the priests with pig blood.  He also opposed the covenant between the Jews and the Lord, also known as the Mosaic Law, and forbid the Jews to practice it.  They could no longer perform circumcision, observe the Sabbath, or practice dietary restrictions.  Temple life as the Jews knew it for so many years was over.   

This will happen again when the real antichrist comes forth and takes possession of the temple.  Look with me in Revelation 13:5-7, “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”  Tabernacle refers to the actual temple that will be rebuilt during the Tribulation or the living Jesus Christ who tabernacles with His people.  I believe that here it means the antichrist will blaspheme Jesus the Christ and the Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Everything that the Tribulation believers and believers of all times hold dear will be fodder for the grist mill of this evil devil.   

“…he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.”  This intelligence is with the apostate Jews.  They renounced their religion and turned from God and from the ordinances and from worshipping Him.  They spent time reporting to Antiochus about the activities of their kinsmen.   

V. 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.”   

“And arms shall stand on his part and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength …” These “arms” are armies who fought with Antiochus. He sent generals and commanders who fought for him such as Lysias, Philip the Phrygian, Andronicus, Apollonius, Bacchides, and others. They be would be used to pollute the temple and commit sacrilege in there.  The reason Antiochus came against the temple is that the Ark of the Covenant between God and the Jews was there.  God’s presence was there and it encouraged and comforted the Jews. Commentator John Gill said of this invasion into the temple, “…this holy place, sacred to his worship and service, the commanders and soldiers of Antiochus defiled by entering into it, who were men unholy and unclean; by making it a place of luxury and rioting, of whoredom, and all manner of uncleanness; by bringing things into it which were not lawful, and filling the altar with what was abominable…” 

“…and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.”  There would no longer be the morning and evening sacrifice of the lamb.  There would be no sacrifice of any kind, no drink offering and no burnt offering.  These blasphemers would "Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine's flesh, and unclean beasts:'' (1 Maccabees 1:47 ).  They set up the abomination of desolation in the temple. Josephus said, “…it being usual in Scripture to call idols abominations, as they are to God and all good men; the image of Jupiter Olympius, as is thought, which was placed upon the altar of God by Antiochus, on the fifteenth day of the month Cisieu, in the hundred and forty fifth year of the Seleucidae, and is called the abomination of desolations, in the Apocrypha…”  This idol was Jupiter Olympius. 

Anyone who was found with a Book of Torah (the Old Testament) or practicing any part of their religion, by order of Antiochus, was put to death. 

"Now Jerusalem lay void as a wilderness, there was none of her children that went in or  out: the sanctuary also was trodden down, and aliens kept the strong hold; the heathen had their habitation in that place; and joy was taken from Jacob, and the pipe with the harp ceased'' (1 Maccabees 3:45). 

Bible Study

Book of Daniel

Chapter 11, Part 53

I’d like to say something here before we get into the study.  There seems to be much confusion about what the Old Testament means to New Testament Christians, especially where it concerns the question of what part of the Old Testament pertains to us.  In Matthew 5:17, Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”  The Law includes the Ten Commandments, the food regulations and restrictions, the feasts days and the moral laws.   

Old Testament Jews were expected to follow the Ten Commandments to the letter.  (It’s not easy to be perfect. Neither is it possible.)  In the Old Testament the Jews had to bring sacrifices to the priests who would offer them on the altar for the forgiveness of their sins. When Jesus came, He gave new Commandments for the people to follow.  To this question posed by a Pharisee, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37 -40). 

Jesus fulfilled the need for such sacrifices once for all on the cross.  For born again Christians to continue offering sacrifices for sin is to negate all that Jesus suffered.  Jesus said of the Communion service, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come” (I Corinthians 11:26 ).  This death which was His choice as He was “the Sheep to the slaughter” and the sacrifice “once for all” (Act 8:32 ; Hebrews 10:10 ).  

The Jews were given stringent regulations about what they could eat.  They had clean and unclean things and they dare not eat the unclean lest they themselves become unclean and unable to participate in the religious life in their area for several days.  This included foods offered to idols.  We are under grace, and those laws do not apply to us.  “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14 ).  We can eat and drink whatever we like as long as we do it in love, not becoming a stumbling block to the unsaved.                          

The bride of Christ, born-again Christians are not meant to celebrate the feasts the Jews do. We honor them for what they were and will be, but they were made for the Jews and the Jews are the ones who will continue to celebrate them during the Millennium.  Our celebration should be that we honor our King, Jesus the Christ, the Anointed One.  We celebrate the Communion of this One who He willingly offered up His body to be killed even before the fact as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane .  The word Gethsemane means The Garden of Crushing.   We celebrate the birth of the Savior: And we celebrate His Resurrection.  We do not celebrate His death as that was separation from God.  Jesus’ life and our new birth came through His resurrection; and that’s what we celebrate.  Bless the Lord, oh my soul. 

V. 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.”  This verse is a very good promise to those of us who love and serve the Lord God who is without shadow of turning (James 1:17 ).   

After Antiochus desecrated the temple, he made a decree that all who lived in his kingdom should give up their own religious practices and fall in line with his.  The people who “do wickedly” are the apostate Jews that turned away from their religion, their Torah, their God, to serve Antiochus because he was lavish with the gifts he doled out to them.  These Jews became false teachers drawing as many away from their faith as possible to serve this ruler. “…but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”  That is, the people who knew that God was the One and Only true living Creator and Lord.  They proclaimed the Lord God and all His good works toward Israel from the beginning of their foundation.  They worshipped God as they grew to know Him in their hearts.  These are the ones that were able to resist the draw of the “buck” that called away so many of their brethren. 

Antiochus decreed that there were to be no more sacrifice made to the Lord, the Sabbath must be profaned (looked on with disrespect for God) and the children were not to be circumcised.  The desired results being that Israel would forget her law and her God.  They were now expected to make sacrifices to pagan gods. 

The people were watched.  If they were observed breaking any of the new rules, they were reported.  Not caving in to Antiochus was deadly for many of the faithful Jews.  Of these faithful ones, John Gill says in his commentary, “…that many of the Jews indeed, some willingly, and others through fear of punishment, obeyed the king's commands; but the more approved (faithful ones), and those of generous minds (toward God), had a greater regard to the customs of their country (the Laws of Moses) than to the punishment threatened to the disobedient; and for this being continually harassed, and enduring grievous punishments, died; some were scourged (as Jesus was), and their bodies mutilated (as Jesus was), and being yet alive and breathing (as Jesus was), were crucified (as Jesus was); women and their children, whom they crucified, were by the king's orders strangled, and hanged about the necks of their parents that were crucified;''  (My additions are in parentheses.) 

The children whose mothers had them circumcised were killed by strangulation and tied about the necks of their mother before she was crucified.  What an appalling sight that had to be!  The body of the dead child was already rotting on its mother’s chest, and she had to endure this along with the pain in her body while mourning her child.  Along with the mother and child, the entire family was killed as well as the man who performed the circumcision.   

It was against the Law to strangle the animals to be sacrificed or for eating as it allowed blood to remain in the body.  God spoke against eating the blood even before the Law of Moses was given.  “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat” (Genesis 9:3, 4).  The animals had to be killed humanely and without causing the animal fear or discomfort, and all blood had to be entirely drained from the body before a Jew could eat it. Antiochus knew this and used the information to denigrate the Israelis.  He supposed that when other Jews saw the mother and child hanging they would race to worship him and his false gods.  He was right part of the time, but many Jews maintained their love of God and worshipped only Him even unto death. 

V. 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.”  The Jews who knew the Scriptures, had a heart for God, and knew the laws and regulations which had to be followed taught them to others.  (I’m thinking it was like having Bible study.)  God raised up these teachers during a very difficult time of great apostasy in Israeli history.  These men taught the people how to be strong in the Lord and not cave in from fear or greed.  Regardless of their efforts, many still fell away.   

These prophets, teachers and students of the Word who would not comply with Antiochus’ law to worship him were killed in horrible ways.  Some were cut to pieces by the sword.  Others were burned to death in caves where they ran to hide from the soldiers.  That not being cruel enough, some people were fried in large brass cauldrons.  Women and children were taken as slaves and sold to the highest bidder.  All of them lost their possessions when the soldiers “plundered” (raided, robbed) their homes and took all they had.   

V. 34 – “Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.”  During this time of great distress in Israel , God raised up a man, Mattathias, and his five sons who were also called the Maccabees to bring a measure of relief.  Many of the apostate Jews came to Maccabees with lying lips and flattering tongues pretending to believe as they did yet seeking only for their own good and to be associated with the successes the Maccabees were having.  Sadly, their success was not long-lived.  The cruelty and persecution of the faithful Jews returned with a harsh vengeance.  Antichrist will have this same behavior.  He will lie, flatter, commend, and then destroy.   

V. 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.”  The teachers would fall; not fall into sin, and not the traps of Antiochus.  Their determination to worship the Lord and live according to His law while teaching their people brought hardship and persecution to them.  This was how Antiochus attempted to frustrate the religious leaders and cause them to renounce the Lord and worship him.  God used this time to separate the hypocrites from the real worshippers of God.  He also used this time to test the leaders.  The hardships brought into their lives would grow them or chase them away.  It depended on how deeply committed to God they really were whether or not they continued to be used.  I’m sure you’ve all seen the explanation of the Scripture which talks about refining the gold.  That’s what was taking place in these teachers.  “The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts” (Psalm 17:3). 

“…even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.”  The time spoken of is the end of the “second period of Jewish sovereignty.”  The appointed time is the second coming of Jesus in the Millennium when Israel will finally take her place as God’s chosen.  He people will hav bowed their knee to the Lord Jesus as Savior, and they will live in the New Jerusalem that God is building for them.   

We can read about Antiochus and all the other evil rulers throughout history and shake our heads wondering where their capacity for such wickedness comes from.  But wait – we haven’t yet seen the antichrist.  These guys were bad, and some in office now are evil, but they have nothing on this satan-possessed creature that will pose as a leader, peacemaker, and savior to Israel and the world.  As the saying goes, “You ain’t seen nothin yet!”

Bible Study

Book of Daniel

Chapter 11, Part 54 

V. 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.”  “At the time of the end” refers to the second half of the seventieth 7 of years of the Tribulation period.  This will be the time when the anti-Christ has reached the zenith of his power.  It isn’t the end of time, but the time of the end which God labeled The Great Tribulation, or the second half of the Tribulation.   

The “king of the south” is generally taken to be Egypt .  I stick with the fact that it means Egypt because Egypt is mentioned in verses 8, 42, 43 of Daniel 11.  Egypt will come against the king of the north passing through Israel along with the Libyans and Nubians known as Put and Cush in Genesis 10:6 and I Chronicles 1:8.  Walvvord and Zuck note that Put refers to the Arab nations and Cush to the Persian Gulf region.  This is easy to believe when we see the news about what these countries are planning to do to Israel .   Machmud Achmadinajad of Iran has vowed to see Israel pushed into the sea.  All the countries of the Middle East hate Israel . 

The “king of the north” otherwise knows as Gog and Magog will pour down with a mighty army well equipped for battle.  Some commentators of the Bible feel this could be Turkey , others Syria .  I agree that it is neither as they don’t meet the requirements for the size of the army nor the size of the country the army comes from, or for the amount of borders between them and Israel .  Our text says, “…and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”  This army must cross at least two borders to meet this requirement.  Neither Turkey nor Syria does.  The logical choice for the “king of the north” then becomes Russia .  Her land is vast, her army huge and well outfitted, and she would have to cross at least the borders of Georgia and Turkey to enter Israel .   

Some people try to tell us that t his battle already took place and the prophecy is fulfilled.  

That’s not possible as this battle is still in the future and one that will take place as told in Revelation.  “…And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16 ). 

V. 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.”  “He” here continues to refer to the anti-Christ.  George M. Harton, Bible Scholar, put it this way, “The prominence of Antichrist in the immediately preceding context ( 11:36 -40), along with the prominence of Antichrist in prophetic

literature, argues for a continued emphasis upon Antichrist in vv 41-45. Accordingly, the "he" of v 41 would refer back to the "him" of v 40, which does refer to the wilful king of vv 36-39.” 

When he, the anti-Christ here’s about the invasion from the north and the south, he will move his army to the Middle East and quickly enter the “glorious land.”  That is, Palestine .  He will strike out against Egypt who, along with her allies is the one who initiated the invasion in the first place.  He will find that Edom , Moab , and Ammon won’t be defeated at that time.  They are now part of Jordan .  He will, however, gain control of many countries.   

V. 42, 43 – “He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.  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.”  The anti-Christ will conquer Egypt among many countries, and will take over its treasures.  The Libyans and Nubians of the Sudan will be in submission to him.  Some believe that Egypt is a very poor country, but research uncovered the fact that their “antiquities- –gold, silver, and jewels–is said to be worth many times more than the all the gold the U.S. has EVER stored at Fort Knox .”  I’d say that’s a lot of wealth. 

V. 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.”  Anti-Christ will hear of a vast army moving towards him and he will become alarmed.  This army will be two-million (2,000,000) strong.  It will come from the east across the Euphrates River .  This will incite the anti-Christ to great anger and he’ll set out to destroy this army. 

V. 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.”  Anti-Christ, posing as Jesus will set up his “office” in Jerusalem between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea .  He will sit in all his splendor as though he were the Christ.  People will believe it and will honor him as such because of the one world government he will set up with himself as ruler, and the one world religion through which he will be worshipped.   

What he will fail to make clear to the people is that he’s a flash in the pan, and that Jesus will make His second appearance on earth very soon from that day.  His army of saints and the angels will come with Him.  Neither Jesus, nor a saint, nor an angel will fire a shot at the devil to defeat him.  The two-edged sword will come forth from the mouth of Jesus as the spoken word and satan will be done, effectively eliminating the anti-Christ through whom he reigns.  Martin Luther described this event well in his hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, when he wrote, “The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure, one little word shall fell him.” 

Revelation 19:20 should be a comfort to us.  “But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs 

he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”

Jerusalem is where Jesus will reign from when He returns after the Great Tribulation to begin the Millennial Period, 1,000 years.  “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:4). “Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat : for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about” (Joel 3:12 ).  

Dr. Wallace Emerson writes: “Today, there are a lot of people who have high hopes for a New World Order. They are working hard to organize the United Nations into a world government that can impose its will on every nation. They have chartered an international criminal court to try national leaders and others who do not cooperate. They have founded command and control centers for an international army to support the one world government, and they are looking for a great leader who can pull off all this together. They will find one, but his world government will eventually come crashing down. The phrase in Daniel 11:45, ‘he will come to his end, and one will help him’ dismisses Antichrist without fanfare and almost with the wave of God’s hand. He is not even given a lengthy obituary in God’s Word.” (Unlocking the Mysteries of Daniel, p. 191) 

 craftiness” (I Corinthians 3:17 -19).  Some “famous” people out there are so wise that they are teaching that there are many ways to God.  That wisdom is folly and will cost them eternal separation from God. 

“…shall shine as the brightness of the firmament…” Those who believe in the virgin birth of our Savior and proclaim Him to the end will shine with the Light of God from within.  Our resurrected bodies will be like that of Jesus and we will be righteous and without sin.  “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 13:43 ).  

“…they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”  Those of us who share the gospel and turn people from the way of sin, which is death, will shine as the stars. Only God through Christ can bring righteousness to us.  Only by sharing “the good news” with others can we turn them to God, admit their sin, and seek forgiveness.   

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in hiwhom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  (Romans 10:12-15) m of
From Wikipedia: The Bosporus or Bosphorus, also known as the Istanbul Strait, (Turkish: İstanbul Boğazı) (Greek: Βόσπορος) is a strait that forms the boundary between the European part (Rumelia) of Turkey and its Asian part (Anatolia). The world's narrowest strait used for international navigation, it connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara (which is connected by the Dardanelles to the Aegean Sea, and thereby to the Mediterranean Sea). It is approximately 30 km long, with a maximum width of 3,700 metres at the northern entrance, and a minimum width of 700 metres between Kandilli and Aşiyan; and 750 metres between Anadoluhisarı and Rumelihisarı.
The depth varies from 36 to 124 metres in midstream. The shores of the strait are heavily populated as the city of Istanbul (with a metropolitan area in excess of 11 million inhabitants) straddles it.

This is a satellite image of the Bosporus, taken from the International Space Station in April 2004. 
Hellespont : ancient name of the narrow passage between the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara. Today, it is known as Dardanelles. The Hellespont connects the Aegean Sea in the southwest to the Sea of Marmara and Black Sea in the northeast, and has always been regarded as the boundary between Europe in the northwest and Asia to the southeast. 

It is about 65 miles long.