Daniel 11 – Conflict Between North and South & Persepolis

Chapter 11 shows how ruthless these kings were; nothing but two-face, lying, cheating, back stabbers.  Wow, sounds like the White House.

Only one more chapter in Daniel so I want to look at… 

Daniel 11
Conflict Between North and South

1 Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.

It is a trilingual inscription, written in Old Persian, Babylonian and Elamite.

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.

“Three kings” – Cambyses (530-522 B.C.), Pseudo-Smerdis or Gaumata (522 B.C.), and Darius I (522-486 B.C.).

“Fourth” – Xerxes (486-465 B.C.), who attempted to conquer Greece in 480 B.C.

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

“Mighty king” – Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.).

4 And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.

5 And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.

“King of the south” – Ptolemy I Soter (323-285 B.C.) of Egypt.

“One of his princes” – Seleucus I Nicator (311-280 B.C.)

“His dominion” – initially Babylonian, to which he then added extensive territories both east and west.

Darius trilingual inscription old Persian, elamite and babylonian, at Ganj Nameh, near Hamadan, Iran.

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.

“King’s daughter of the south” – Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.) of Egypt.

“King of the north” – Antiochus II Theos (261-246 B.C.) of Syria.

“An agreement” – a treaty cemented by the marriage of Berenice to Antiochus.

“She shall not retain the power…neither shall he stand” –Antiochus’s former wife, Laodice, conspired to have Berenice and Antiochus put to death.

“That begat her” – Berenice’s father Ptolemy died at about the same time.

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:

“One…her roots” – Berenice’s brother, Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-221 B.C.) of Egypt, who did away with Laodice.

“Fortress” – either (1) Seleucia (see Acts 13:4), which was the port of Antioch (where after Jesus’ death His disciples were first called Christians – Acts 11:26), or (2) Antioch itself.

A lamassu; eastern entrance of the Gate of All Nations.

“King of the north” – Seleucus II Callinicus (246-226 B.C.) of Syria.

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.

“Their gods” – images of Syrian deities and also of Egyptian gods that the Persian Cambyses had carried off after conquering Egypt in 525 B.C.

9 So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.

10 But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.

“His sons” – Selecus III Cerunus (226-223 B.C.) and Antiochus III (the Great) (223-187 B.C.), sons of Seleucus II.

“His fortress” – Ptolemy’s fortress at Raphia (southwest of Gaza).

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.

“King of the south” – Ptolemy  IV Philopator (221-203 B.C.) of Egypt.

Cambyses II son of Cyrus the Great, was King of Kings of Persia. Cambyses’s grandfather was Cambyses I, king of Anshan.

“King of the north” – Antiochus III.

“Given into his hand” – at Raphia in 217 B.C.

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.

“Cast down…many ten thousands” – the historian Polybius records that Antiochus lost nearly 10,000 infantrymen at Raphia.

13 For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.

14 And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.

“King of the south” – Ptolemy V Ephiphanes (203-181 B.C.) of Egypt.

“Robbers of thy people” – Jews who joined the forces of Antiochus.

“They shall fall” – the Ptolemaic general Scopas crushed the rebellion in 200 B.C.

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.

Darius I (550–486 BCE) was the third king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire.

Also called Darius the Great, he ruled the empire at its peak, when it included much of West Asia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, parts of the Balkans (Bulgaria-Pannonia), portions of north and northeast Africa including Egypt (Mudrâya), eastern Libya, coastal Sudan, Eritrea, as well as most of Pakistan, the Aegean Islands and northern Greece/Thrace-Macedonia.

“Most fenced cities” – the Mediterranean port of Sidon.

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.

“He that cometh” – Antiochus, who was in control of the Holy Land by 197 B.C.

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.

“He shall give him the daughter of women” – Antiochus gave his daughter Cleopatra I in marriage to Ptolemy V in 194 B.C.

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.

“Prince” – the Roman consul Lucius Cornelius Scripio Asiaticus, who defeated Antiochus at Magnesia in Asia Minor in 190 B.C.

19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.

“Stumble and fall” – Antiochus died in 187 B.C. while attempting to plunder a temple in the province of Elymais.

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.

“In his estate” – Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175 B.C.), son and successor of Antiochus the Great.

“Raiser of taxes” – Seleucus’s finance minister, Heliodorus.

“He shall be destroyed” – Seleucus was the victim of a conspiracy engineered by Heliodorus.

Xerxes I of Persia, also known as Xerxes the Great, was the fourth King of Kings of Persia. In Judeo-Christian tradition, Xerxes I is believed to be the Persian king identified as Ahasuerus in the biblical book of Esther.

21 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.

“Vile person” – Seleucus’s younger brother, Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.).

“They shall not give the honor of the kingdom” – Antiochus seized power while the rightful heir to the throne, the son of Seleucus (later to become Demetrius I) was still very young.

“Kingdom” – Syro-Palestine.

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.

“Prince of the covenant” – Either the high priest  Onias III, who was murdered in 170 B.C., or, if the Hebrew for this phrase is translated “confederate prince,” Ptolemy VI Philometor (181-146 B.C.) of Egypt.

23 And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.

24 He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.

25 And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the sou

Seleucus I was a leading officer of Alexander the Great’s League of Corinth and one of the Diadochi. In the Wars of the Diadochi that took place after Alexander’s death, Seleucus established the Seleucid dynasty and the Seleucid Empire.

th shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.

26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.

27 And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.

“Both these kings” – Antiochus and Ptolemy, who was living in Antiochus’s custody.

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.

“Against the holy covenant” – in 169 B.C. Antiochus plundered the temple in Jerusalem, set up a garrison there and massacred many Jews in the city.

29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.

30 For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.

“Ships of Chittim” – Roman vessels under the command of Popilius Laenas.

31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the0 sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

Ptolemy II Philadelphus was the king of Ptolemaic Egypt from 283 BC to 246 BC. He was the son of the founder of the Ptolemaic kingdom Ptolemy I Soter and Berenice, and was educated by Philitas of Cos.

“Abomination that maketh desolate” – see 9:27, 12:11, the altar to the pagan god Zeus Olympus, set up in 168 B.C. by Antiochus Epiphanes and prefiguring a similar abomination that Jesus predicted would be erected (Matt 24:15; Lk 21:20).

32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.

“They that understand” – the godly leaders of the Jewish resistance movement, also called the Hasidim.

“Fall by sword and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil” – See Heb 11:36-38.

34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.

“A little help” – the early success of the guerrilla uprising (168 B.C.) that originated in Modein, 17 miles northwest of Jerusalem, under the leadership of Mattahais and his son Judas Maccabeus.  In December, 165 B.C., the altar of the temple was rededicated.

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.

“Time of the end” – Daniel concludes his predictions about Antiochus Epiphanes and begins to prophesy concerning the more distant future.

36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.

From here to the end of chapter 11 the antichrist is in view.  The details of this section do not fit what is known of Antiochus Epiphanes.  See 2 Thess 2:4; Rev 13:5-8.

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.

“The desire of women” – usually interpreted as either Tammuz or the Messiah.

38 But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.

Antiochus II Theos (Greek: Αντίοχος Β’ Θεός, 286–246 BC) was a Greek king of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire who reigned from 261 to 246 BC.

He succeeded his father Antiochus I Soter in the winter of 262–61 BC. He was the younger son of Antiochus I and princess Stratonice, the daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes.

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.

11:40-45 –  conflicts to be waged between the antichrist and his political enemies.  He will meet his end at the “glorious holy mountain”, Jerusalem’s temple mount, doubtless in connection with the battle of Armageddon (Rev 16:13-16).

41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.

42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.

43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.

44 But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.

45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.


Persepolis

Persepolis (meaning “Persian city”) was a capital city of the Achaemenid kings. Its remains, known as Takht-i Jamshid, are located northeast of Shiraz, Iran, 140 miles inland from the Persian Gulf.

Four Achaemenid kings- Xerxes I, Darius I, and II, and Artaxerxes I– had their tombs cut into the cliff face at Nagsh-i Rustam. Only Darius I’s on the right is identified by inscriptions. Each + shaped facade is over 75 feet high and 60 feet wide.

The reliefs below the tombs were added in the 3rd century AD by Sassanian kings. The one in the middle shows Shahpour’s Triumph over the Romans (Valerian). The cross + has deep spiritual meaning signifying ascendance to the supreme.

Trilingual inscriptions on the site report the building activities of several generations of Persian monarchs.  Darius I (521-486 B.C.) began construction of the city after having created a platform of 33 acres, 40 feet above the plain. He erected fortifications, a monumental stairway to the platform, a palace, an audience hall and other buildings.

The audience hall, or Apadana, employed 72 stone columns, each 65 feet  in height, of which 13 still stand. Its eastern stairway was decorated with images of delegations of Persians, Medes, Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks and others bearing tribute and in their customary dress.

Xerxes I (c. 486-465 B.C.) added a larger palace, harem and treasury. He began the “throne-hall of 100 columns” and built the “Gate of All Nations,” ornamented with colossal winged and human-headed bulls.

Thousands of Elamite tablets from the reigns of Darius, Xerxes and Artaxerxes I were recovered from the treasury, among which are featured a number of Jewish names including Baruch, Zechariah, Abijah and Hezeki(ah).

An Apadana is a large hypostyle hall, the best known examples being the great audience hall and portico at Persepolis and the palace of Susa.

The Persepolis Apadana belongs to the oldest building phase of the city of Persepolis, the first half of the 5th century BC, as part of the original design by Darius the Great. Its construction completed by Xerxes I. Modern scholarships “demonstrates the metaphorical nature of the Apadana reliefs as idealised social orders”.

Artaxerxes I (465-425 B.C.) completed the throne-hall, and Artaxerxes III (359-338 B.C.) added a staircase to Darius’s palace. Alexander the Great destroyed the city in 330 B.C. as retribution for Xerxes’ destruction of Athens in 480 B.C.

Tombs of the Achaemenid kings, cut into cliffs at Naqsh-i Rustam are located 3.5“ miles north of the city.

…the Seleucids since they seem to have done their part.