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Friday, October 19 2012
The Prophet Daniel: Kings Of The North and South
The famous "king of the north" and "king of the south" prophecy of Daniel chapter 11 actually begins in the previous chapter (see The Prophet Daniel: The Hiddekel Vision), keeping in the mind that the Scriptures, as they were written, had no chapters, or verse numbers. The fall of the Babylonian Empire to the Persian Empire, and then the fall of the Persian Empire to the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great was also described in other prophecies (see The Prophet Daniel: The Ram and The He Goat), but the "king of the north" and "king of the south" prophecy adds much more detail.
When Alexander the Great died, his Empire was divided by four of his generals. Seleucus acquired much of the vast eastern section of the empire centered on the territory of the old Babylonian Empire (the reddish-brown area shown on the map below); from Seleucus came his namesake Seleucid Dynasty that lasted for almost two and a half centuries. Ptolemy acquired Egypt and north Africa (the purple area on the map below); from Ptolemy came his namesake Ptolemaic Dynasty that ruled for about three centuries, until the murder of Caesarion (Ptolemy XV), the 17 year old son of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar, by order of Octavian in 30 BC (see The Cleopatra Connection and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
"11:2 And now will I show 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.
The Selecuids were the original "king of the north" (i.e. their capital in Syria was north of Jerusalem), while the Ptolomies were the original "king of the south" (i.e. their capital in Egypt was south of Jerusalem). Their military struggles for territorial control, along with their internecine political intrigues, are described in the first part of the "kings of the north and south" prophecy.
"11:5 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. 11:6 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.
The prophecy then continues on with the territorial conflicts that the Selecuids of the north and the Ptolomies of the south experienced in and over the land of Judah. As we will read, "north" and "south" are directions from Jerusalem. The prophecy does not become fully dual until the "abomination of desolation" is committed.
"11:11 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. 11:12 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. 11:13 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.
Empires typically consume the economic resources of the nations that they conquer or control. For a time, Judea was plundered, from both directions, until the king of the north gained the upper hand, with the rise of the Selecuid king Antiochus IV.
"11:20 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.
The appearance of Antiochus IV, who committed the original "abomination of desolation," marks the definitive beginning of the prophecy becoming dual. Keep in mind that the original kings of the north and south were involved in a struggle between competing branches of Alexander's divided empire. The Church of Rome, which was created by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the fourth century AD, and Islam, which was created in the fifth century AD by Muhammad (see the Fact Finder question below), did not yet exist in the time of the Ptolemaic and Seleucid kings who existed in the second and third centuries BC.
"11:29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. 11:30 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." (Daniel 11:29-30 KJV)
"They shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate"
We can be absolutely certain that the "kings of the north and south" prophecy is dual because Jesus Christ declared the "abomination of desolation" prophecy to be dual. The return of Jesus Christ will occur when that end-time event happens i.e. "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains ... then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Notice also that it says the "Holy Place," not the "Most Holy Place."
"24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place [see The Holy Place In History And Prophecy], (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.
Continuing on in Daniel, the original "abomination of desolation" that the Messiah quoted:
"11:31 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. 11:32 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." (Daniel 11:31-32 KJV)
The original "abomination of desolation" was removed by the "Maccabees" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Hasmonean Judea).
"11:33 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. 11:34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 11:35 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." (Daniel 11:33-35 KJV)
The dual prophecy then continues - describing what happened in the time of Antiochus IV, and what is yet to happen in the time prior to Christ's return (see The Battle Of The End-Time Prophets).
"11:36 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. 11:37 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. 11:38 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. 11:39 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." (Daniel 11:36-39 KJV)
As they have been doing for centuries already, Roman Catholicism of Europe and Islam of the Middle East, both of whom regard Jerusalem as "holy" to their religions (see A Biography Of Abraham: Abrahamic Religions) will be the "king of the north" and the "king of the south" (see the Fact Finder question below).
"11:40 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. 11:41 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. 11:42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 11:43 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. 11:44 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. 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." (Daniel 11:40-45 KJV)
"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"
How do we know that the prophecy then becomes singular at its end? Because the return of Jesus Christ, and the first resurrection that will occur on that day, is only going to happen once.
"12:1 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 [see What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven? and What Happens After The Messiah Returns?].
The 42-month / 3 ½ year "end time" was also explained to Daniel (see The Battle Of The End-Time Prophets).
"12:5 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. 12:6 And one said to the man clothed in linen [see also Linen In History And Prophecy], which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
Daniel lived in the time when all that he was given to write regarding the kings of the north and south were in his future. With the additional information that "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. 12:12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days" (see The Two Signs Of Christ's Return), Daniel was told to "Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end" (see The Seals Of Prophecy).
"12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
Fact Finder: How have the end-time "king of the north" and "king of the south" already been contesting control of Jerusalem for centuries?
This Day In History, October 19
526 BC: Ahmose II, general, king of Egypt, member of the 26th dynasty, died. He seized the throne during a revolt against King Apries.
202 BC: The Battle of Zama during the Second Punic War; Roman legions (see also Legions Of Men And Angels) under the command of Scipio Africanus defeated Hannibal Barca, leader Carthaginian army.
439: The Vandals, led by King Gaiseric, took Carthage in north Africa.
1216: King John of England died at age 50. After being interdicted by Pope Innocent III, he surrendered England to the pope so that the national excommunication would be repealed. Innocent then gave England back to John in 1213 as a fief of the Roman Catholic Church. King John became the subject of one of William Shakespeare's plays. He was succeeded by his 9 year old son Henry.
1466: The Peace of Torun ended the war between the Teutonic Knights and their own disaffected subjects in Prussia (not to be confused with Russia; Prussia is in Germany).
1469: Ferdinand II of Aragon married Isabella I of Castile. The Spanish monarchs are best-known to history as the sponsors of Christopher Columbus (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1739: England declared war on Spain over a borderline dispute in Florida. The war became known as the War of Jenkin's Ear because Spanish coast guards cut off the ear of British seaman Robert Jenkins.
1812: Napoleon began his retreat from Moscow.
1818: In the years following the War of 1812-12 (declared by U.S. President James Madison with the stated purpose to annex Canada), a treaty was signed by Canada and the U.S. to set the international border, west of the Great Lakes, at "the 49th parallel" (i.e. the latitude of 49 degrees north). That treaty, along with the already-established-by-war border east of the Great Lakes created the present-day boundary that has not been militarily-violated by either nation in nearly 200 years.
1827: During the Greek War of Independence, the Turkish and Egyptian fleets were destroyed by the British, French and Russians at the Battle of Navarino.
1935: The League of Nations imposed sanctions against Italy following its invasion of Ethiopia.
1949: The communist People's Republic of China was formally proclaimed.
1950: The North Korean capital of Pyongyang was captured by U.N. troops.
1954: Britain and Egypt agreed to transfer control of the Suez Canal after more than 70 years of British control (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1970: British Petroleum made the first major oil find in the British sector of the North Sea.
1973: U.S. President Richard Nixon rejected an Appeals Court demand to turn over the Watergate criminal investigation tapes.
1993: South African President F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
2005: Amidst the over 200,000 Iraqi civilians killed and a million wounded (some independent estimates state that the civilian carnage was much higher) by the non-existent "weapons of mass destruction" invasion ordered by George W. Bush, Saddam Hussein went on trial in the destroyed city of Baghdad for "crimes against humanity." Saddam Hussein was found guilty and hung for his war crimes.
2005: Hurricane Wilma becomes the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record.