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Tuesday, December 22 2015

Daniel 11: The Abominations Of Desolations By The Kings Of The North And South

"Then the king of the south, moved with rage, shall come out and fight against the king of the north. And he shall raise a great multitude, but it shall be given into his hand"

The prophecies of the "king of the north" and "king of the south" of Daniel chapter 11 actually begin in the previous chapter (see Daniel's Latter Days Vision) and end in chapter 12 (as we will get to in the next study), keeping in the mind that the Holy Scriptures, as they were actually recorded, had no chapters, or verse numbers - they were added centuries later by European churchmen and printers.

The precipitous 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 were also described in other prophecies (see The Hand Writing On The Wall and The Ram And He Goat Of Persia And Greece), but the "king of the north" and "king of the south" prophecy adds much more detail to the events - as they partially happened in history, after Daniel's time, and as they are yet to be fulfilled in the future just prior to the return of the Messiah.

When Alexander the Great died, his Empire was divided by four of his generals (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids).

Seleucus acquired much of the vast eastern section of the empire centered on the territory of the former 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.

11:3 And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 11:4 And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those." (Daniel 11:2-4 KJV)

The Division Of Alexander's Empire

The Greek Selecuids were the original "king of the north" (i.e. their capital in Syria was north of Jerusalem), while the Greek 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.

11:7 But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail: 11:8 And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. 11:9 So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land. 11:10 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." (Daniel 11:5-10 KJV)

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.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes

"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.

11:14 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. 11:15 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. 11:16 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. 11:17 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. 11:18 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. 11:19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found." (Daniel 11:11-19 KJV)

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 - the Syrian king who committed the original "abomination of desolation."

"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.

11:21 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. 11:22 And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. 11:23 And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. 11:24 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.

11:25 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. 11:26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain. 11:27 And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. 11:28 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." (Daniel 11:20-28 KJV)

The appearance of Antiochus IV 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.

The Holy Place

"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.

24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be [see What Happens After The Messiah Returns?]. 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 24:30 And 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 [see What Is The Day Of The LORD?]." (Matthew 24:15-30 KJV)

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 the Messiah'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 and the Fact Finder question below) 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)

Fact Finder: How did the religions of the Roman Empire and Muhammad originate? Why do both claim Jerusalem?
See A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad

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This Day In History, December 22

69: Emperor Vitellius was captured and killed at the Gemonian stairs in Rome (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

China 640: The Saracens (i.e. a term for Muslims during the Crusades) under Amrou conquered Alexandria, having invaded Egypt two years earlier.

880: Luoyang, eastern capital of the Tang Dynasty, was captured by the rebel leader Huang Chao during the reign of Emperor Xizong.

1135: Stephen of Blois was crowned as the king of England.

1216: Pope Honorius III approved the establishment of the Order of Preachers, more commonly known as the Dominicans.

1681: New England colonists revoked a 22 year-old ban on Christmas celebrations; the ban on the pagan-based festival was soon observed again (listen to our Sermon The Ho-Ho Hoax).

1715: James Stuart, the "Old Pretender" and claimant to the British throne, landed at Peterhead from exile in France to start a rebellion.

1769: The Sino-Burmese War (1765-1769) ended.

1790: The Turkish fortress of Izmail was captured by Alexander Suvorov and his Russian armies.

1807: The U.S. Congress passed the Embargo Act. While it banned all U.S. trade with all other countries, it was directed primarily at Britain and France. The Act was repealed a few years later due to the devastating effect that isolationism had on the U.S. economy itself i.e. it "defended" jobs and business that were negatively affected by competition from imports, but it destroyed the many U.S. jobs and businesses that were dependent upon exports.

1851: India's first freight train began service in Roorkee, India.

1885: Ito- Hirobumi, a samurai warrior, became the first Prime Minister of Japan.

1894: Alfred Dreyfus, French artillery officer, was convicted of selling secrets to Germany and sentenced to imprisonment on Devils Island. He was completely exonerated in 1906.

1896: An arbitration tribunal in Paris ruled that the Bering Sea (a vast area of the north Pacific Ocean between the continents of Asia and North America was international waters, not a U.S. possession.

1942: After his Nazi air force consistently lost to the Royal Air Force in air combat over Britain, Adolf Hitler signed an order to develop rockets as a weapon that could be safely launched from Europe onto Britain (beginning the modern age of combat-from-a-desk, "push button" no-courage-required warfare).

1968: The 82-man crew of the U.S. spy ship Pueblo were released after being seized by North Korea. The ship itself remains in North Korea to this day.

1988: A Pan Am 747 airliner was blown up by a terrorist bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland. All 295 people on board, and 11 people on the ground, were killed.

1989: A revolution in Romania overthrew communist leader Nicolea Ceausescu after 23 years as president.

1990: Former "Solidarity" union leader Lech Walesa became Poland's President.


Copyright © Wayne Blank