Truth That Matters

"What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" - Jesus Christ

Daniel chapter 8 (written 555-553 BC)

In Daniel 8, Daniel records a vision he had in 553 BC (Daniel 8:1), in which kingdoms were represented by animals:

"Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last." (8:3)

An angel explains to Daniel:

"The ram which you saw with two horns are the kings of Media and Persia." (8:20)

This certainly makes sense in the light of history. When the Medes and Persians defeated the Babylonians and set up their kingdom in 538 BC, it was a Median, Darius, who became emperor. However, later on, the Persians called the shots, and took the kingdom to great heights. The image is a photo of the ruins of Babylon, taken by Nick, a US soldier in Iraq.

"I saw the ram pushing westward and northward and southward, so that no beasts could stand before him, and no one could deliver out of his hand. But he did according to his will and became great." (8:4)

Pushing Westwards, Northwards and Southwards! That's exactly what the Persian kings after Cyrus did. The Persians ruled the entire middle east and more for nearly 200 years.

"And as I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west, over the face of the whole earth and did not touch the ground. And the he goat [had] a conspicuous horn between his eyes." (8:5)

Who's this?

"[The angel said to Daniel] And the male goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king." (8:20)

Alexander the Great!! According to Daniel, Alexander would move so fast eastwards that he resembles a galloping animal.

"And I saw him come close to the ram."  (8:7)

In 334 BC, Alexander the Great crossed over into Asia, liberating various Greek cities from Persian rule. In 332 BC, Alexander annexes Israel from the Persians - the high priest Jaddua who welcomed him to Jerusalem actually showed him this very passage in Daniel and assured him that he would defeat Darius Codomanuus (the then Persian king).

"And he was enraged against him." (8:7)

Alexander accused Darius Codomanuus (the then Persian king) of plotting to kill his father, king Philip of Macedonia. Shortly before the battle between them, Darius sent envoys asking for terms of peace. Alexander replied that Darius was no noble enemy but a malefactor who deserved to perish.

"And he struck the ram and broke his two horns. And there was no power in the ram to stand before him. But he threw him down to the ground and trampled him. And there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand." (8:7)

In 331 BC, the armies of Alexander and Darius came within sight of each other at Gaugamela. One of Alexander's advisors advised him to attack Darius in the night, so his soldiers wouldn't get scared by seeing the huge Persian army. Alexander said he wasn't there to steal a victory. He allowed his army to have a good night's rest (unlike Darius), and the next day, Alexander crushed the Persians, just as Daniel saw in his vision 182 years in advance!

"Then the male goat became very great." (8:8)

You bet. Alexander conquered all that belonged to the Persians. So much did the Chaldeans respect him that they gave him their 2000 year old astronomical records (which eventually reached Aristotle). Alexander even came to India and defeated king Porus.

"And when he became strong, the great horn was broken." (8:8)

Of course. Alexander died in 323 BC at age 32 - he'd been king for just 12 years.

"And in its place came up four conspicuous ones toward the four winds of the heavens." (8:8)

When Alexander died, his kingdom was divided into various parts, each ruled by people he had willed [his children were too small to succeed him]. A lot of turbulence followed as these people fought against each other.

By 311 BC, the main players were:

  • Egypt, Libya and Arabia fro Ptolemy Lagus
  • Europe for Cassander
  • Lysimachus gets Thrace
  • Antigonus gets Asia (who was later replaced by Seleucus)

Just as Daniel said, 242 years in advance.

"And out of one of them came a little horn which became very great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the beautiful [land]." (8:9)

This would have to be Antiochus, the Seleucid who was surnamed Epiphanes (Illustrious) by his Syrian subjects. The beautiful land, in prophecy, refers to Israel [Palestine], the only patch of ground that God specifically calls "My Land".

"And it became great, [even] to the host of the heavens. And it caused some of the host and of the stars to fall to the ground, and trampled them." (8:10)

This obviously does not refer to Antiochus Epiphanes directly. From elsewhere in the Bible (Revelation 12), we know that this refers to Satan, the falling stars referring to angels that joined Satan in rebelling against God. Because of his evil, Antiochus is being used as a type (symbol) for Satan.

"He magnified himself even to the Prince of the host. And the regular [sacrifice] was taken away by him, and the foundation of His sanctuary was cast down. And a host was assigned [to him] against the regular [sacrifice] because of transgression. And he cast truth down to the ground. He did [all this] and prospered." (8: 11, 12)

Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the temple in Jerusalem in 170 BC. He oppressed the Jews mercilessly.

Daniel chapter 9

This one is the icing on the cake. Details

Daniel chapter 7

In chapter 7, Daniel records another vision that he had in which the same kingdoms were depicted by wild beasts.

Daniel records: "In my vision by night I was looking...And, behold, the four winds of the heavens were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, different from one another." (7: 2, 3)

The sea in Biblical prophecy refers to various lands, nations and peoples. Jesus used the same metaphor in Matthew 13.

Daniel has an angel interpret these 4 beasts as 4 kings/kingdoms (7:17,23)

"The first was like a lion and had eagle’s wings. I watched until its wings were plucked off. And it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it." (7:4)

Looking back at history, this would have to be the Babylonian kingdom, contemporaneous with Daniel. The lion suggests their dominance, aggression and lust; the eagle is the bird that soars really high. Thus the eagles wings represent the loftiness of the Babylonian kingdom (both genuine and their own exaggerated perception!). The wings were plucked off and the lion was made like a man. This would have to refer to the humbling of  Nebuchadnezzar at God's hands (recorded in Daniel 4). Nebuchadnezzar went insane, behaved like an animal, and when he recovered, was a changed, more humane and humble person.

"And, behold, another beast, a second, like a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth. And they said this to it, Rise up, devour much flesh." (7:5)

This would have to be the Medo-Persians, who defeated Babylon in 538 BC. The bear probably symbolises the ferocity of the Persians. The three ribs can be correlated to the three divisions that Darius the Mede made in 538 BC (Daniel 6:1)

The bear was told to devour much flesh. Haman the Agagite persuaded the Persian Emperor Ahauseurus to annihilate all the Jews in around 510 BC (Esther 3:8). It however did not happen.

"After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it." (7:6)

This would have to be Greece. Alexander the Great routed Darius Codomannus the Persian king in 331 BC, more than 200 years after Daniel saw this vision.

Needless to say, a leopard symbolizes speed. Alexander built a huge empire in just a decade! Jerome (fourth century AD historian)writes: "There was never, after all, any victory won more quickly than Alexander's, for he traversed all the way from Illyricum and the Adriatic Sea to the Indian Ocean and the Ganges River, not merely fighting battles but winning decisive victories; and in six years he subjugated to his rule a portion of Europe and all of Asia. And by the four heads reference is made to his generals who subsequently rose up as successors to his royal power, namely Ptolemy, Seleucus, Philip [i.e., Philip Arrhidaeus, an illegitimate brother of Alexander, who was proclaimed king upon Alexander's death, but never exercised genuine power, and died after seven years], and Antigonus [the precursor of Seleucus in the rule of the Asiatic portion of Alexander's empire]. "And power was given to it" shows that the empire did not result from Alexander's bravery but from the will of God."

"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns." (7:7)

This is the Roman Empire. This empire is different from the others. It started off being headed by a senate rather than a single monarch. Like no one else, the Romans were brutal in their suppression of various peoples. There is no historical entity that can be correlated to the 10 horns satisfactorily. We meet this same beast in Revelation 13, where the context is clearly the future Antichrist and his kingdom. Thus the 10 horns have to refer to some feature of the kingdom of the Antichrist (that is yet future).

Daniel chapter 10/11

Daniel got this vision in the third year of Cyrus the Persian (Daniel 10:1, 534 BC). An angel narrates to Daniel what's going to happen in the next few centuries after him:

"And now I will declare the truth to you: Behold, three more kings shall stand up in Persia; and the fourth shall be rich in all greater riches. And when he is strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece." (11:2)

All right. This is being spoken in 534 BC, when Cyrus was ruling. Let's see what kings were there after this.

Cyrus died in 529 BC.

  • He was succeeded by Cambyses Ahauseurus: King # 1
  • Then came Magus Artaxerxes (in 522 BC): King # 2
  • Then came Darius Ahauseurus (in 521 BC): King # 3
  • Then came Xerxes Ahauseurus (in 485 BC): King # 4

According to Daniel 11:2, Xerxes Ahauseurus should be a very rich and powerful king who "stirs up all against Greece". Was he? Did he?

You bet!!

To be sure, hostilities between Greece and Persia began when Hippias, a Greek exile poisoned Darius Ahauseurus' mind against the Greeks in 501 BC.

In 481 BC, Xerxes Ahauseurus mustered a huge army and navy and went towards Greece. They wintered at Sardis. They emptied the Scamander River with their thirst. They were about a million soldiers, 4 lac cavalry, 1200 fighting ships + other cargo ships, servants, etc. The entire entourage was well over 5 million. The ancient historian Justin (Trogus) says: "There was such an infinite abundance in his kingdom, that when whole rivers failed the multitude of his army, yet his wealth could not be exhausted."

In 480 BC, Xerxes prayed to the sun, and crossed into Europe over the Hellespont. He camped at River Hebrus in Thrace.

Xerxes found Athens abandanoned when he reached it, and he wasted it.

History took place just as Daniel had predicted!!

By the way, Daniel did not predict success for Xerxes Ahauseurus. He suffered reverses at Salamis, Erythrae and Platea. Many of his army died due to famine and pestilence. He crossed back to Asia in 480 BC and was killed by his own guard in 474 BC.

"And a mighty king shall stand up who shall rule with great authority and do according to his will." (11:3)

After Xerxes Ahauseurus, the Persian empire was in decline. So this verse would have to refer to Alexander the Great, who defeated Darius Codomannus the Persian Emperor in 331 BC at Gaugamela.

"And when he stands up his kingdom shall be broken in pieces and shall be divided to the four winds of the heavens, and not to his posterity, nor according to his authority with which he ruled. For his kingdom shall be plucked up and [given] to others besides these." (11:4)

Alexander died in 323 BC. Exactly as Daniel predicted (in 534 BC), his kingdom was not given to his children (who were too young), but was divided up among his generals. After some squabbling, the following division was agreed upon in 311 BC.

  1. Egypt, Libya and Arabia fro Ptolemy Lagus [South]
  2. Europe for Cassander [West]
  3. Lysimachus gets Thrace [North]
  4. Antigonus (succeeded by Seleucis) gets Asia [East]

None of these were as powerful as Alexander. Moreover, there were "others besides these" who got smaller fragments of Alexander's kingdom.

Cassander killed Alexander's sons (in 311 and 309 BC). Then all these guys started calling themselves kings.

There was a further realignment in 301 BC. Seleucus and Demetrius joined forces. Their posterity were called the Seleucids, the kings of the north, whereas Ptolemy joined himself with Lysimachus - the Ptolemies, or the kings of th South

From verse 5 onwards, Daniel refers to the kingdom of Asia (headquartered in Syria) as the North, and Egypt as the South, in deference to their positions relative to his homeland, Israel.

"And the king of the south shall be strong. And [one] of his rulers, even he will gain strength over him, and he will rule. His dominion [shall be] a great dominion." (11:5)

Ptolemy Lagus of Egypt was strong. In 320 BC His general Nicanor marched into Syria and took Laomedon prisoner. Ptolemy also conquered Judea. In 312 BC, Ptolemy exerted his dominance over Cyprus, Caria and Cilicia, Gaza and Phoenicia.

Who is this "one of his rulers"?

In 285 BC Ptolemy Lagus allows his son Ptolemy Philadelphus to reign with him. Thus, the  "one of his rulers" is none other than Ptolemy Philadelphus, the son of Ptolemy Lagus. In 284 BC, Ptolemy Lagus died and was succeeded by Ptolemy Philadelphus.

In what way will "he will gain strength over him"? Did he have a great dominion?

Theocrates claims that Ptolemy Philadelphus had 33339 cities under him and was even more powerful than his father. Ptolemy Philadelphus was a great patron of learning. He built a big library at Alexandria. Demetrius of Phalerium helped him get books and also advised him to direct the production of the Septuagint. He also redeemed around 10,000 Jewish slaves (at around 30 shekels of silver each) and gifts and money for sacrifices to the temple at Jerusalem. It was Ptolemy Philadelphus who commissioned the production of the Septuagint, the Greek edition of the Hebrew Old Testament of the Bible.

Meanwile in Syria, Seleucis died in 280 BC. He was succeeded by Antiochus Soter. He died in 261 BC and was succeeded by his son Antiochus Theos. This king fought against Ptolemy Philadelphus.

Daniel 11:6a "And at the end of years they shall join together, and the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement."

Just as Daniel had predicted, Ptolemy Philadelphus [of Egypt: South]did not want to continue fighting against Antiochus Theos [of Syria: North] and so made a treaty with him in 261 BC. He gave him his daughter Berenice to wife, along with a great dowry. He even packed Nile water for her to drink at her in-laws' place!

"But she shall not retain the power of the arm. And he will not stand, nor his arm. But she and those who brought her [shall be] given up, as well as the one who begot her and who supported her in [these] times." (11:6b)

Ptolemy had hoped that Berenice would be able to win over the affection of Antiochus Theos, and convince him to treat his earlier wife Laodice, as a mere concubine. However, in 246 BC, Antiochus Theos rekindled his romance with Laodice. For her part, she feared that he may return to Berenice, and so she poisoned him and so her son Seleucus Callinicus succeeded him. Laodice also besieged and then poisoned Berenice and her children. Meanwhile in Egypt, Ptolemy Philadelphus died and was succeeded by his son Ptolemy Eurgetes.

Just as Daniel predicted, Berenice did not "stand" [live long and prosper], nor did "the one who begot her", Ptolemy Philadelphus. When the cities of Asia heard that she was besieged, they tried their best to rescue her, but they were unsuccessful. This fulfilled the last part of Daniel 11:6.

Daniel 11:7 "But out of the shoots of her roots one will stand [in] his place, and he shall come with an army and will enter into the fortress of the king of the north. And he will act against them and prevail."

"Out of the shoot of her roots" - who's that? From the wording, it has to be a sibling. Berenice's roots were her father Ptolemy Philadelphus and his wife. Another shoot, out of the same roots was her brother Ptolemy Eurgetes. When he heard that she was killed by Laodice, he marched into Syria and killed Laodice. He conquered nearly the whole of West Asia/Middle East. He wasted Seleucis' kingdom - just as Daniel had predicted nearly 300 years in advance!!

Da 11:8,9 "And he will also bring their gods with their cast images, along with their possessions of silver and gold vessels, into captivity to Egypt. And he will continue more years than the king of the north. And the king of the south will come into [his] kingdom and will return to his own land."

Did he? Of course he did!!

He brought huge plunder to Egypt (silver + Syrian idols). He even brought back the Egyptian idols that Cambyses the Persian king had taken to Persia when he returned to Egypt in 245 BC.

Meanwhile, Seleucis Callinicus mustered a large navy to attack the cities that had switched allegiance to Ptolemy Eurgetes. A sudden storm sank the whole fleet, and these cities returned to him out of sympathy.

Seleucis Callinicus died in 226 BC. Ptolemy Eurgetes died in 221 BC, and was succeeded by his effeminate and wanton son Ptolemy Philopator. Seleucis had two sons, Ceraunus and Antiochus the Great. What do you think these guys are going to do after they've seen how Ptolemy Eurgetes wasted their father's kingdom?

Da 11:10 "But his sons shall be stirred up and shall gather a multitude of great forces. And [one] certainly shall come and overflow and pass through. And he will return to his fortress and be stirred up."

Of course, they'll want to attack Egypt!! That's exactly what they planned. "His sons" [plural] becomes "one" [singular]. How's that? Ceraunus was poisoned by his friends in 223 BC. That leaves Antiochus the Great. He recovered the parts of Syria that were annexed from his father. He was so convinced that Ptolemy Philopator was an incapable king that he attempted an invasion of Egypt.

What is Mr Philopator's reaction?

Da 11:11,12 "And the king of the south will be bitter and will go out and fight with him, with the king of the north. And he [the northern king] shall raise a great multitude, but the multitude shall be given into his [the southern king's] hand. And he will cause a vast innumerable number to fall, but he will not prevail."

The two armies met at Raphia, between Egypt and Syria, in 217 BC. Philopator (surprisingly) defeated Antiochus, who went back to Syria. Philopator returned with much rejoicing (and many prisoners) to Egypt.
Although he vanquished a huge army of Antiochus the Great, Ptolemy Philopator was not able to "prevail" because he did not capture Antiochus himself.

What happens to him after his victory?

"And when he has carried away the multitude, his heart will be lifted up. " (Daniel 11:12)

Polybius reports (Polybius, 1.14 c, 111.s. 1-7. 3:265) that when Ptolemy Philopator returned to Egypt, he resumed his old lifestyle and wallowed in all manner of gluttony and luxury. Ptolemy Philopator started persecuting the Jews. He forced them to renounce their religion (fall morally). He appointed a day (in 216 BC) to massacre all those who refused. All the Alexandrian Jews were gathered to the Hppodrome, and Ptolemy Philopator had his elephants brought out. However, instead of trampling the Jews, the elephants turned around and trampled his own soldiers who were standing behind them. Ptolemy Philopator interpreted this as the God of the Jews delivering them, and from then on, became favorably disposed towards them. In 215 BC, Ptolemy Philopator had to face a rebellion in Egypt.

In 204 BC, Ptolemy Philopator died and was succeeded by his son Ptolemy Epiphanes, who was then just 5 years old. The affairs of the kingdom were managed by Aristomenes.

How do you think Antiochus the Great is going to react?
"For the king of the north shall return and raise a greater multitude than the former. And at the end of some years, he shall come to attack with a great army and with much equipment. And in those times many shall stand up against the king of the south." (Daniel 11:13,14a)

Antiochus the Great assembled a huge army from the upper regions of Babylon.  He even allied himself with Philip king of Macedonia to conquer Egypt. Many of the regions under Ptolemy began rebelling.

Meanwhile, what would the Jews be up to?

"And the sons of the violent ones [transgressors] of your people shall rise up to fulfill the vision, but they shall stumble." (Daniel 11:14b)

Any correlation with history?

Sure! The high priest, Onias, [who was loyal to Ptolemy Epiphanes although Antiochus had just conquered Judea] fled to Egypt, taking a large number of Jews along with him, and was given an honorable reception by Ptolemy. He then received the region known as Heliopolis, and by a grant of the king, he erected a temple in Egypt like the temple of the Jews. In the process, he was violating God's commandment in (Deuteronomy 12:13,14) that sacrifices were to be offered only at the place God appointed [Jerusalem]. Hence Daniel refers to him and those with him as "violent ones" or "Transgressors". What was the "vision" that they were trying to fulfill?

Onias believed that he was fulfilling Isaiah 19:19, which predicts an altar to Jehovah, the God of Israel, in Egypt.

How did he fail?
The Jews later had wars against the Romans in which the Romans destroyed Onias' city and its temple completely.

Everything takes place exactly as Daniel predicts 300 years in advance!

Daniel 11:15 "So the king of the north shall come and build up a siege mound and seize a fortified city. And the forces of the south shall not stand, nor his choice people, for there [will be] no strength to resist. But he who comes against him will do as he desires, and no one shall stand before him."

History unfolded exactly the same: In 204 BC, Antiochus the Great besieged Sidon, a fortified city, in which was a garrison of Scopas, one of Ptolemy Epiphanes' generals. In order to free him, Ptolemy dispatched the famous generals, Eropus, Menocles and Damoxenus (Vulgate: Damoxeus). Yet he was unable to lift the siege, and finally Scopas, overcome by famine, had to surrender and was sent away with his associates, despoiled of all he had.

Daniel 11:16 "And he shall stand in the glorious land, with destruction in his hand."

The glorious land refers to Israel, the place God chose for His people. Many of the struggles between Antiochus and Ptolemy were staged in Judea, which bore the brunt of those struggles.

Daniel 11:17 "And he shall set his face to go in with the might of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do. And [he] shall give the daughter of women to him, to destroy it. But she shall not stand, nor be for him."

Antiochus not only wished to take possession of Syria, Cilicia, and (710) Lycia, and the other provinces which had belonged to Ptolemy's party, but also to extend his empire to Egypt. He therefore used the good offices of Eucles of Rhodes to betroth his daughter, Cleopatra, to young Ptolemy in the seventh year of his reign; and in his thirteenth year she was given to him in marriage, professedly endowed with all of Coele-syria and Judaea as her marriage-portion. However, instead of supporting him [her father], she supported Ptolemy Epihanes, her new husband (193 BC)

Da 11:18 "After this he shall turn his face to the coastlands and shall capture many. But a ruler shall make his reproach cease for him, but his reproach shall return to him."

In 192 BC, Antiochus the Great turned his attention to the Mediterranean region [coastlands]. He crossed the Taurus mountains, marched through Cilicia, and wintered at Ephesus. In spring, he invaded the Pisidians.

Daniel 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.

Needless to say, the Romans did not take kindly to his interfering in Asia Minor. After a series of confrontations, the Romans finally routed Antiochus in a battle at Magnesia, at the foot of the Sipylus Hill, in 190 BC. He fled back to Syria, his own land. He sent envoys to the Romans to sue for peace: he was ordered to pay the cost of the war, and quit Europe and the part of Asia to the west of the Taurus Mountains. He also had to send hostages to be kept at Rome. The reproach that he tried to inflict on others returned to him. Perhaps overburdened by the fines imposed on him by Rome, he tried to plunder the rich temple of Zeus Belus at Elymais in 187 BC, and was killed by the locals - he stumbled and fell, and was found no more.

[Meanwhile in Egypt, Ptolemy Epiphanes was poisoned by his army captains and succeeded by his son Ptolemy Philometor in 180 BC]

Daniel 11:20 "Then [one] who imposes taxes shall stand in his place, in the glorious kingdom. But within a few days he will be broken in pieces, but not in anger nor in battle."

This would have to be the son of Antiochus the Great, namely Seleucus Philopator. He was not at all powerful, because of the losses his father had suffered. The Bible calls him a raiser of taxes because his main activity would have been raising tax money to be sent to Rome. His kingdom included Israel (the glorious kingdom), and he was nice to the Jews. He was poisoned to death through the treachery of one Heliodorus - neither in anger nor in battle.

What happens next?

Daniel 11:21 "And a vile person shall stand up in his place, and they shall not give to him the honor as king. But he shall come in with quietness and obtain [the] kingdom by intrigues."

After the death of Seleucus Philopator in 175 BC, the kingdom should have gone to his son Demetrius. However, Antiochus Epiphanes, a son of Antiochus the Great, and thus the brother of Seleucus and uncle of Demetrius, who was a hostage at Rome, arrived, and obtained the kingdom. Thus, the vile person is Antiochus Epiphanes (image). Demetrius was held as a hostage in Rome.

Daniel 11:22 "And with the forces of the overflow they shall be swept from before him, and be broken, and also the ruler of the covenant. 23  And after they join themselves to him, he will practice deceit; for he shall come and shall be strong with a few people.
24  He will go in peaceably, even into the rich places of the province. And he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers. He shall plunder and spoil and scatter goods among them. And he shall devise his plots against the strongholds, even for a time."

The people who were swept from before him were his contestants to the throne. In fact, it was because Antiochus could vanquish them that he was given the title Epiphanes (illustrious) by the Syrians. His prevailing over "the ruler of the covenant" refers to the fact that Antiochus Epiphanes removed Onias III, the high priest at Jerusalem. This happened because a renegade Jew named Jason, the brother of Onias III (the high priest) promised Antiochus Epiphanes money in return for the high priest's office. Antiochus Epiphanes made him high priest. After he became high priest, Jason caused the Jews to abandon their religion, and promoted Hellenism in Israel. This happened in 175 BC.

What's his next move?

"And he will stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army." - Daniel 11:25a

Did this happen?
Of course it did! How?

In 173 BC, Cleopatra, the mother of Ptolemy Philometor, and wife of Ptolemy Epiphanes, died. If you remember, she was the one whom Antiochus the great had given as wife to Ptolemy Epiphanes, along with Coelosyria as dowry. Now Antiochus Epiphanes denied this, and used this as a pretext for a war against Ptolemy Philometor, king of Egypt [king of the south]!

Meanwhile, in 172 BC, Jason lost his high priesthood to Menelaus, another traitor, who expelled Jason to the land of the Ammonites.

In 170 BC, Antiochus Epiphanes led a "great army" towards Egypt. What was the outcome?

"And the king of the south will be stirred up to battle with a great and very mighty army. But he shall not stand, for they will devise plots against him. Da 11:26 Yea, those who eat his food shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow. And many will fall down slain." - Daniel 11:25b, 26

Surely enough, Antiochus Epiphanes defeated Ptolemy Philometor (who fled away).

Verse 27:

"And both of these kings shall have it in their hearts to do evil, and they will speak lies at one table. But it will not prosper, for the end shall still [be] at the appointed time."

This seems to refer to an earlier meeting of Ptolemy Philometor and Antiochus Epiphanes at Memphis, where Antiochus Epiphanes pretended to be a well wisher of the young Ptolemy Philometor.

"And he will return to his land with great wealth." Daniel 11:28a

That's exactly what Antiochus Epiphanes did after his victory over Ptolemy Philometor in 170 BC.

"And his heart shall be against the holy covenant. And he will act, and he shall return to his own land."

Needless to say, "holy covenant" refers to the Jewish people and their faith. So, did Antiochus Epiphanes turn anti-Semitic?

You bet he did!!

How? A false rumor of his death was circulated in Judea and there was a skirmish between Menelaus and Jason, the two Jewish renegades. Antiochus Epiphanes felt the Jews were happy at the news of his death and interpreted the skirmish as a rebellion against him. Mad with fury,  he rushed into Jerusalem, and killed or enslaved eighty thousand men. He entered the Holy of Holies of the Jewish temple, and sacrificed a sow, and sprinkled the broth on the Jewish scriptures and temple. He forced Menelaus and other Jews to eat swine's flesh. All this happened in 170 BC. After appointing tyrants to be governors of Judea, he returned to Syria, his own land.

Daniel predicted that one of his expeditions to Egypt would meet with a problem:

Da 11:29,30 "At the appointed time he will return and come against the south. But it will not be as the former or as the latter. For ships from Kittim will come against him. And he will be grieved and return and be furious against [the] holy covenant. And he will act, and he will return and give heed to [those] who forsake the holy covenant."

History unfolded exactly the same way. According to Easton's Bible dictionary, Kittim is a general reference to "the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean and the races that inhabit them". When Antiochus Epiphanes was at Pelusium in Egypt (four miles from Alexandria), he was met by Roman envoys. When Antiochus Epiphanes extended his right hand for a handshake, the Roman envoy Popilius instead handed him a letter from the Senate ordering him to stop the war against Ptolemy, king of Egypt. Antiochus Epiphanes replied that he'll ask his friends and decide. Popylius drew a circle around Antiochus Epiphanes with a vine twig and demanded an answer before he left that circle. Shocked, Antiochus Epiphanes agreed to do what the Romans commanded.

Needless to say, he was grieved, just like Daniel said he would be. On his way back to Syria, he passed through Judea. Guess what he did: he vented his fury on the holy covenant!! In 167 BC, Antiochus Epiphanes banned the Jewish religion. He insisted that Jews should get into idolatry, eat non-kosher stuff, and remain uncircumcised. In this he was helped by renegade Jews - those "who forsake the holy covenant".

Da 11:31a "And forces will stand for him, and they will profane the sanctuary fortress."

This refers to the Gentiles who converted the Temple (sanctuary) into a party venue, complete with harlots, and things that the law forbade.

Da 11:31b "And [they] shall remove the regular [sacrifice],"

The Jews had a schedule of sacrifices that included one at dawn and dusk everyday. This is the "regular sacrifice" that Antiochus Epiphanes and his Greek companions stopped.

Da 11:31c "and they will place [there] the abomination that causes horror."

This probably refers to an idol altar which was erected on God's altar on the 25th day of the month Chisleu, 167 BC.

Da 11:32a "And he will corrupt with flatteries those who act wickedly against [the] covenant."

Those Jews who forsook their religion (covenant) were treated well by Antiochus Epiphanes.

Da 11:32b: "But the people who know their God will be strong and will work."

This started when a priest called Mattathias refused to sacrifice to an idol. This was the beginning of the Maccabean Revolt, an extremely valiant initiative by the Maccabean Jewish family. The events in this connection are described till verse 35. The Jewish festival of Hannukah commemorates the cleansing and rededicating of the temple by the Maccabbees.

Verses 36 onward mention other things that "the king" would do, but they were not fulfilled either by Antiochus Epiphanes or anyone after him. Writing six centuries after Daniel, John predicts events that are yet future that can be correlated with those from Daniel 11:36 onwards. Needless to say, if the book of Daniel was a fabrication made after Antiochus Epiphanes, it would have stopped at verse 35 or continued with second century history. Another example of prophecy with double fulfillment.

Conclusion

The book of Daniel is without comparison in the whole world. The Middle Eastern history for a period spanning 200 years is foretold in detail centuries in advance. The conclusion is inescapable: Jehovah, the God of the Bible is the true God and the Bible is His authentic message to man. However, the knowledge of prophecy is not your greatest need. Your greatest need is to get right with God by dealing with the sin that separates you from Him. There is only one way to do this - to avail of The solution that God has provided for sin