Daniel 12 – The Time of Great Trouble & The Seleucids

I had always thought that Daniel was about the end time only.  Now I believe that it is true, history does repeat itself.

It appears that all Daniel said happened then, but it’s also warning to us to prepare for the end time.  Of course, the end time will be worse than anything has ever been.

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt 24:21-22).

What Bush, Obama, Putin or any ruler does is nothing compared to what the devil will do, but the devil is nothing but a sissy little girl compared to You.

I know I’m safe, I know I’ll spend eternity with Jesus so I’m anxious for the end to come, and hopefully people will pull their heads out of the sand and repent.

So now we go to…

Daniel 12
The Time of Great Trouble

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.

“Time of trouble” – see Jer 30:7; Matt 24:21; cf. Rev 16:18.

“Book” – see 10:21; Ps 9:5, 51:1, 69:28.

2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

The first clear reference to a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.  Cf. Jn 5:24-30.

3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.

4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.

“Other two” – two was the minimum number of witnesses to an oath (see Deut 19:15).

“Time, times, and a half” – or “a year, two years, and half a year.”

6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?

7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth forever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?

9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

12:11-12 – apparently representing either (1) further calculations relating to the persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes (see 8:14, 11:28) or (2) further end-time calculations.

12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

The Seleucids

After the death of Alexander the Great, his massive empire was divided among his generals, who vied for power. One of the major victors was Seleucus I (born c. 358 B.C.), who seized control of a domain centered in Syria. His dynasty, the Seleucids, governed there from 321 to 64 B.C.

Seleucus I Nicotor (c. 312-281 B.C.): A childhood friend of Alexander, he took control of Babylon. A rival Greek general, Antigonus Monophthalmus, forced him to take refuge in Egypt with another Greek general, Ptolemy.

Seleucus I returned to power in Syria and Babylon in 312 B.C. In 301 B.C. he moved his capital west to Syrian Antioch, a city he had founded. By the terms of a peace treaty he should have gained control of Palestine, which Ptolemy refused to relinquish. Thereafter, the Seleucids regarded Palestine as rightfully theirs.

 

Antiochus I Soter (c. 281-261 B.C.): The son of Seleucus I, he fought with Ptolemy II of Egypt in a struggle for control of Palestine and Anatolia (Turkey).

 

 

Antiochus II Theos (c. 261 -246 B.C.): This ruler was successful against Ptolemy II in the ongoing struggle for control of Anatolia. Ptolemy persuaded him to marry his daughter Berenice, a union that caused dynastic troubles among the Seleucids.

Seleucus’s first wife, Laodice, established a rival court at Ephesus and, after Antiochus’s death, had Berenice and her son murdered. This resulted in renewed war between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies (the latter now under Ptolemy III, Berenice’s brother). Antiochus II is the “king of the North” in Dan 11:6.

Seleucus II Callinicus (246-225 B.C.): Son of Antiochus II and Laodice, his reign began with a war against Ptolemy III. During his lifetime the Seleucid Empire nearly collapsed.

 

 

Seleucus III Soter (225-223 B.C.): His brief reign focused upon a failed campaign to regain control of Anatolia.

 

 

Antiochus III the Great (223-187 B.C.): The younger son of Seleucus II, he was the Seleucids’ most successful warrior-king. He first campaigned south into Palestine against the Ptolemies but was stopped at Raphia by Ptolemy IV in 217 B.C.

Turning east, he won victories against Bactria and Parthia. In a new war against the Ptolemies, now under Ptolemy V, he wrested control of Palestine in 200 B.C., after which he focused on regaining Anatolia. War broke out between Rome and the Seleucids, and Antiochus III was defeated in several battles. Antiochus III is the “king of the North” in 11:11-13.

 

Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175 B.C.): The son of Antiochus III, his reign was hampered by the financial strain of heavy tribute payments to Rome.

 

 

Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.): A younger son of Antiochus III and a usurper of the throne after the assassination of Seleucus IV, Antiochus was the most infamous Seleucid. He attempted to extirpate Judaism and replace it with a Hellenistic culture; his enormities are recorded in 2 Maccabees 5,an Apocryphal book.

His oppression prompted Jewish rebellion in the Maccab Antiochus Epiphanes almost conquered Egypt in 168 B.C. but turned back when the Roman C. Popilius Laenas warned him to proceed no further.

 

 

Antiochus V Eupator (164-162 B.C.) Two men, Philip and Lysias contended for control of this boy during his brief reign; the confusion left an opening for the Jewish Maccabees against the Greeks. Though not entirely successful, they did win religious concessions.

 

Demetrius I Soter (162-150 B.C.) A son of Seleucus IV, he had Philip and Lysias put to death and assumed the throne himself.  Wars with the Jews continued. Judas Maccabeus was killed in battle and replaced by his brother Jonathan, who defeated the Seleucids.

Thereafter Seleucid power weakened steadily. A usurper named Alexander Balas contended ineffectively for the Seleucid throne.

Demetrius II, son of Demetrius I, seized power and ruled from around 145 to 140 and again from approximately 129 to 125 B.C. (between which times he was prisoner of the Parthians).

Meanwhile, Antiochus VI Epiphanes Dionysus (a son of Alexander Balas), Antiochus VII Sidetes (a brother of Demetrius II) and Tryphon (another usurper) vied for power. This situation made the Jews power brokers, further illustrating how far the Seleucids had declined.

 

Antiochus XIII Asiaticus (69-64 B.C.) was the last Seleucid ruler was and in the final year of his reign Pompey the Great made Syria a Roman province.

…the Book of Hosea.