11 Also I [the angel], in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood up to confirm and to strengthen him [Michael, the angelic prince].
2 And now I will show you the truth. Behold, there shall arise three more kings in Persia, and a fourth shall be far richer than they all. And when he has become strong through his riches he shall stir up and stake all against the realm of Greece.
3 Then a [a]mighty [warlike, threatening] king shall arise who shall rule with great dominion and do according to his [own] will.
4 And as soon as he has fully arisen, his [Alexander the Great’s] kingdom shall be broken [by his death] and divided toward the four winds [the east, west, north, and south] of the heavens, but not to his posterity, nor according to the [Grecian] dominion which he ruled, for his kingdom shall be torn out and uprooted and go to others [to his four generals] to the exclusion of these.
5 Then the king of the South (Egypt) shall be strong, but one of his princes shall be stronger than he is and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
6 At the end of some years they [the king of the North, Syria, and the king of the South, Egypt] shall make an alliance; the daughter of the king of the South shall come to the king of the North to make [a just and peaceful marriage] agreement; but she shall not retain the power of her might, neither shall he and his might endure. She shall be handed over with her attendants, her child, and him who strengthened her in those times.
7 But out of a branch of the [same ancestral] roots as hers shall one [her brother] stand up in his place or office, who shall come against the [Syrian] army and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the North and shall deal against them and shall prevail.
8 And also he shall carry off to Egypt their [Syria’s] gods with their molten images and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold, and he shall refrain for some years from [waging war against] the king of the North.
9 And he [the king of Syria] shall come into the kingdom of the king of the South but shall return to his own land.
10 But his sons shall be stirred up and shall prepare for war and shall assemble a multitude of great forces, which shall come on and overflow and pass through and again shall make war even to the fortress [of the king of the South].
11 And the king of the South (Egypt) shall be moved with anger and shall come forth and fight with the king of the North (Syria); and he [the Syrian king] shall set forth a great multitude, but the multitude shall be given into his [the Egyptian king’s] hand.
12 When the multitude is taken and carried away, the heart and mind [of the Egyptian king] shall be exalted, and he shall cast down tens of thousands, but he shall not prevail.
13 For the king of the North shall raise a multitude greater than [he had] before, and after some years shall certainly return, coming with a great army and much substance and equipment.
14 In those times many shall rise up against the king of the South (Egypt); also the men of violence among your own people shall lift themselves up in order to fulfill the visions [of Dan. 8 and 9], but they shall fail and fall.
15 Then the king of the North shall come and cast up siege works and take a well-fortified city, and the forces of the South shall not stand, or even his chosen troops, for there shall be no strength to stand [against the Syrian king].
16 But he [Antiochus the Great] who comes against him [from Syria] shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him; he shall stand in the glorious land [of Israel], and in his hand shall be destruction and all the land shall be in his power.
17 He [Antiochus the Great] shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and with him upright conditions and terms of peace, and he shall perform them [by making an agreement with the king of the South]. He shall give him [his] daughter to corrupt and destroy it [his league with Egypt] and the kingdom, but it shall not succeed or be to his advantage.
18 After this he shall turn his attention to the islands and coastlands and shall take over many of them. But a prince or commander shall teach him [Antiochus the Great] to put an end to the insults offered by him; in fact he shall turn his insolence and reproaches back upon him.
19 Then he shall turn his face back toward the fortresses of his own land [of Syria], but he shall stumble and fall and not be found.
20 Then shall [b]stand up in his place or office one who shall send an exactor of tribute to pass through the glory of the kingdom, but within a few days he shall be destroyed, [yet] neither in anger nor in battle.
21 And in his place or office [in Syria] shall arise a [c]contemptuous and contemptible person, to whom royal majesty and honor of the kingdom have not been given. But he shall come in without warning in time of security and shall obtain the kingdom by flatteries, intrigues, and cunning hypocritical conduct.(A)
22 Before him the overwhelming forces of invading armies shall be broken and utterly swept away; yes, and a prince of the covenant [with those who were at peace with him] also [shall be broken and swept away].
23 And from the time that an alliance is made with him he shall work deceitfully, and he shall come up unexpectedly and shall become strong with a small people.
24 Without warning and stealthily he shall come into the most productive places of a province or among the richest men of a province [of Egypt], and he shall do that which his fathers have not done nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall distribute among them plunder, spoil, and goods. He shall devise plans against strongholds—but only for a time [the period decreed by God].
25 And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South [Egypt] with a great army; and the king of the South shall wage war with an exceedingly great and mighty army, but he shall not stand, for schemes shall be devised against [the king of the South].
26 Yes, those who eat of his rich and dainty food shall break and destroy him, and his army shall drift or turn away to flee, and many shall fall down slain.
27 And as for both of these kings, their hearts and minds shall be set on doing mischief; they shall speak lies over the same table, but it will not succeed, for the end is yet to be at the time appointed.
28 Then shall [the vile conqueror from the North] return into his land with much booty; and his heart and purpose shall be set against [God’s] holy covenant [with His people], and he shall accomplish [his malicious intention] and return to his own land [Syria].
29 At the time appointed [God’s own time] he shall return and come into the South, but it shall not be successful as were the former invasions [of Egypt].
30 For the ships of Kittim [or Cyprus, in Roman hands] shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved and discouraged and turn back [to Palestine] and carry out his rage and indignation against the holy covenant and God’s people, and he shall do his own pleasure; he shall even turn back and make common cause with those [Jews] who abandon the holy covenant [with God].
31 And armed forces of his shall appear [in the holy land] and they shall pollute the sanctuary, the [spiritual] stronghold, and shall take away the continual [daily burnt offering]; and they shall set up [in the sanctuary] the abomination that astonishes and makes desolate [probably an altar to a pagan god].
32 And such as violate the covenant he shall pervert and seduce with flatteries, but the people who know their God shall prove themselves strong and shall stand firm and do exploits [for God].
33 And they who are wise and understanding among the people shall instruct many and make them understand, though some [of them and their followers] shall fall by the sword and flame, by captivity and plunder, for many days.
34 Now when they fall, they shall receive a little help. Many shall join themselves to them with flatteries and hypocrisies.
35 And some of those who are wise, prudent, and understanding shall be weakened and fall, [thus, then, the insincere among the people will lose courage and become deserters. It will be a test] to refine, to purify, and to make those among [God’s people] white, even to the time of the end, because it is yet for the time [God] appointed.
36 And the [d]king shall do according to his will; he shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished, for that which is determined [by God] shall be done.
37 He shall not regard the gods of his fathers or Him [to Whom] women desire [to give birth—the Messiah] or any other god, for he shall magnify himself above all.
38 But in their place he shall honor the god of fortresses; a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold and silver, with precious stones, and with pleasant and expensive things.
39 And he shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god. Those who acknowledge him he shall magnify with glory and honor, and he shall cause them to rule over many and shall divide the land for a price.
40 And at the time of the end the king of the South shall push at and attack him, and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and pass through.
41 He shall enter into the Glorious Land [Palestine] and many shall be overthrown, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom, Moab, and the main [core] of the people of Ammon.
42 He shall stretch out his hand also against the [other] countries, but the land of Egypt shall not be among the escaped ones.
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 accompany him [compelled to follow his steps].
44 But rumors from the east and from the north shall alarm and hasten him. And he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to sweep away many.
45 And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the seas and the glorious holy Mount [Zion]; yet he shall come to his end with none to help him.(B)
- Daniel 11:3 There are many good reasons for identifying this mighty king as Alexander the Great, as well as identifying the other characters according to their relationship to the events of those times. “But the mere similarity which exists between certain things predicted here and what actually occurred in the times of the Ptolemies of Egypt is not sufficient to limit the fulfillment of the prophecy to those times—certainly [we find here what] was characteristic of Alexander, but there is nothing in the context which makes it necessary to limit the passage to him. Some autocrat may arise ‘in the latter days’ to whom it will apply with greater force than it did to Alexander.” (Charles Ellicott, A Bible Commentary).
- Daniel 11:20 The reference here is undoubtedly to Seleucus Philopator [a king of Syria], the eldest son of Antiochus the Great and his immediate successor (Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament).
- Daniel 11:21 This contemptible conqueror is generally identified as Antiochus Epiphanes, the younger son of Antiochus the Great, king of Syria, and is a type of the final antichrist referred to in Dan. 11:36; II Thess. 2:3-12; I John 4:3; II John 7; and Rev. 13:5-8. “He [Antiochus Epiphanes] stirred up the Jews by robbing the temple and setting up a statue of Jupiter in the Holy of Holies. He also pulled down the walls of Jerusalem, commanded the sacrifice of [forbidden] swine, forbade circumcision, and destroyed all the sacred books that could be found” (John D. Davis, A Dictionary of the Bible).
- Daniel 11:36 The antichrist is in view from this point in the prophecy to the end of the chapter. The details listed here do not fit what is known of Antiochus Epiphanes. See II Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:5-8.