Daniel 10, 11, and 12 are one continuous chapter, divided up by the translators into three sections which will be divided up into four articles, of which this is the first. Chapter 10 gives us the background of Daniel’s conflict, and the appearing of the angel to impart understanding, and to reveal what powers are at play in the warfare of God’s people, and to demonstrate the overruling prove of God. Chapter 11 deals with the unfolding events to take place prophetically on the world stage, leading up to the crisis that shall befall the people of God. Chapter 12 reveals the crowning of the Messiah, and a more complete explanation of Daniel 11’s prophecy.
Daniel 11 is the second part of Daniel 10, which shows us Daniel’s desire to understand the previous prophetic dreams and visions better. Since we are building upon that foundation, now might be a good time to review those prophecies if you haven’t already:
Daniel 2: Unlocking the Forgotten Dream of Prophecy
Daniel 4: The Judgment of Seven times
Daniel 7: The Rise and Fall of Empires
Daniel 7: The Identity of the Antichrist
Daniel 7: The Coronation of the heavenly King
Daniel 8: The Vision of the Daily & Transgression of Desolation
Daniel 8: The Cleansing of the Sanctuary
Daniel 9: The Covenant of Messiah the Prince
Daniel 10: Michael the Great Prince
In the last chapter, Daniel was in earnest after it was revealed to him that the Messiah’s coming was much further off than he had first anticipated. “The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem” which would begin the 2300 days was found to be a lengthy 2300 year period. Daniel realized the “warfare” of the church “was long” and pleaded to know what would befall the church, Daniel’s people, and also when the kingdom would be restored at last. Gabriel comes in great glory, when Daniel had set his “heart to understand” (Dan. 10:12); Gabriel declared, “Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.” Therefore with this context, we find ourselves in chapter 11, where Gabriel will unite all of the previous themes of the book of Daniel into one glorious prophetic end. Therefore, understand that Gabriel is the one speaking to Daniel, giving the explanation through chapter 11.
***Due to the lengthiness of the chapter, click on the arrow beside the Bible verses see the explanation of the verses
[expand title=”Daniel 11:1- Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.”]
Here Gabriel is revealing to Daniel that he was commissioned to establish Darius in his kingdom, and strengthen him. The unvariable purpose for this is to the end that the purposes of God might be fulfilled upon the earth. The Medo-Persian kingdom had a prominent role to play in bringing the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. Satan would seek to prevent this from taking place as we saw in chapter 10, because in every advancement of God’s purposes on the earth, he knows his days draws nigh unto a close, when he “shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:15) For the decree upon him was announced of old, “And thou shalt die the deaths of the slain in the midst of the seas…I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire…and never shalt thou be any more.” (Ezekiel 28:8,16,19)
Darius was the uncle of Cyrus the great, and is known by the historian Xenophon as Cyaxares II. The father of Darius, Astyages, was king of Media, and the throne would eventually fall to Darius. However, a dream came to Astyages twice, foretelling how his daughter, Mandane, would have a son who would overthrow him, and cause the Median reign to have an end. The Median princess, Mandane, was ordered by Astyages to reside in solitary confinement so that she could not have children or be wed. But the servant of Astyages, Harpages, upon orders to confine her sent her away instead, where she ended up becoming the wife of the king of Persia, Cambyses I. Mandane, now queen of Persia, gave birth to Cyrus the great, who was called by name in the prophet Isaiah, anointed by God to overthrow the kingdom of Babylon.
It was made known that Harpages had not done according to the king’s command. In anger, Astyages held a banquet for Harpages, serving him his son’s lifeless head upon a platter. Harpages, angered by this, went to Cyrus, the king of Persia, and opened the way for him to overthrow Astyages; but gave honor to his successor and uncle, Darius, to be the king of the Medes. Cyrus gave Darius the honors of the kingdom of Medo-Persia to him, being sovereign under his uncle; and Darius, having no male successor to the throne, gave Cyrus his daughter who retained the honor of the kingdom of the Medes, while being queen of Persia. It is understood that it was around two years later that Darius died, leaving Cyrus as the sole king of the Medo-Persian confederacy. It was Gabriel who established and confirmed Darius. Therefore, it was the angel Gabriel who opened the way for Cyrus and strengthened him to overthrow the kingdom of Babylon. All of the significant and providential openings, wisdom, and prophetic declaration of judgment was from the angel Gabriel by command of Messiah the prince. Moreover, the fall of Babylon, also prophesied by Isaiah, likened the fall of the kingdom of Babylon to the fall of Lucifer. At every step in the Medo-Persian kingdom’s cooperation with the purposes of God to fulfill it’s role in Bible prophecy was resisted. Even to this day, the devil has seen fit to obscure the records of history, confusing names, and bringing in false histories and interpretations of the ancient history to make this record of the book of Daniel 11 to appear false. Thankfully, our God has left enough traces of history on record that none need err.
[expand title=”Daniel 11:2- 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.”]
Cyrus was to stand up in Persia as the sole-king of the Medo-Persian confederacy once Darius died. His son, Cambyses II, took to the throne and undertook the conquest of Egypt, one of the few independent remaining states; this war was known as the Battle of Pelusium. In this battle, he carried many of the Egyptian idols, their treasures of gold and silver, and other works of art and carried them back into Babylon, the fortress which the Persian kings tended to occupy; but one claiming to be his younger brother seized the throne while Cambyses was in conquest, and would not yield the throne; Cambyses died that year, but Smeris, the usurper, after he vehemently resisted the Jews and forced the building of the temple to cease was slain by Darius the great. Darius the Great, also known as Darius I, was the third rightful king of Persia to come to the throne; as Cyrus was influenced by the angel Gabriel to issue a decree in building the temple, Darius was influenced, and commanded likewise, the continuation of the building (Ezra 6:1-12). Artexerxes I was far richer than them all, and “shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even a hundred and eighty days” (Esther 1:3). Darius had made the attempt to fasten the Greeks under the Persian dominion, and put down any possibility of revolt, but he died. Artexerxes, Darius’ son, led the Persian war against Greece with one of the largest ancient armies ever assembled, called the Battle of Salamis, where the Persians lost; the Greeks were stirred up to war, and went on the offensive, defeating the Persian army in the Battle of Plataea. This trend continued, and the fourth king of Persia used his riches to hire the enemies within the Grecian territory to instigate revolt. This led to a series of battles, mostly in favor of the Greeks; however, one of the guards of Philip II, king of Grecia, assasinated him from the inside. Artexerxes I was also the one who was stirred to issue the final decree to restore and build Jerusalem. In his seventh year, 457 BC, the decree was issued (Ezra 6:14, 7:7-25).
From this point on, the rest of the kings of Persia are not mentioned, nor the lengthy battle between the Greeks. The only ones mentioned were according to Daniel’s inquiry of when the decree of Daniel 9:25 would go forward to commence the vision of Daniel 8. Therefore this prophecy is bringing to view the scenes of Daniel 8, with added description of what shall be at unfold in “the time of the end” (Dan. 8:17). [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:3- And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.”] Alexander the great was the mighty king which stood up and “was moved with cholor” against the Medo-Persian empire, taking one country to another in rapid succession. The continued move of the Persians to hire the Greeks to incite revolt led to Philip II’s assisination. This was Alexander’s father, which moved Alexander to cholor against the Medes and Persians. Therefore it was “according to his will” that he should avenge the blood of his father and take the kingdom. Said Alexander to the final king of Persia, Darius III, after taking his mother, wife, and children captive: “You gave support to the people of Perinthus, who had done my father harm… My father died at the hand of conspirators instigated by you, as you yourself boasted to everybody in your letters…You sent unfriendly letters to the Greeks about me, to push them to war against me, and sent money to the Spartans and some other Greeks, which none of the other cities would accept apart from the Spartans. Your envoys corrupted my friends and sought to destroy the peace which I established among the Greeks. I therefore led an expedition against you, and you started the quarrel….But now I have defeated in battle first your generals and satraps, and now you in person and your army, and by the grace of the gods I control the country…Approach me therefore as the lord of all Asia… Come to me to ask and receive your mother, your wife, your children and anything else you wish. Whatever you can persuade me to give shall be yours. In future whenever you communicate with me, send to me as king of Asia; do not write to me as an equal, but state your demands to the master of all your possessions… If you wish to lay claim to the title of king, then stand your ground and fight for it; do not take to flight, as I shall pursue you wherever you may be.”[/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:4 And when he (Alexander) 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.”] Upon Alexander’s victorious boasting, he came to believe he was the son of the gods. In drunken festivity at this announcement, Alexander drank himself to death, having no legitimate successor. Not according to Alexander’s children was the kingdom of Grecia given, but it was divided into a confederated four of Alexander’s generals Cassander, Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Seleceus. This is known as the “partition of Babylon”.
Eventually, the four continued to struggle for the dominion of Alexander’s kingdom, until there were only two kingdoms of prominence remaining left. Ptolemy, who was in control of the southern area of Egypt. Later, this becomes the kingdom in Daniel 11 that we know as the King of the South. The other general is Seleucus; his is the kingdom of the north, controlling Syria. The heart of Syria was Babylon. So the rule is established in the history of the struggle between Alexander’s generals as they go throughout time; the King of the North is the power that controls Babylon and the King of the South is the Power that controls Egypt. [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:5- And the king of the south shall be strong (Ptolemy), and one of his (Alexander’s) princes; and he (Seleucus) shall be strong above him (Ptolemy), and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.”] The King of the South, Ptolemy, who reigned in Egypt shall be strong and ‘one of his princes’. A distinction between Alexander’s divided kingdom is being made here between, Ptolemy, the King of the South, and one of ‘his’ (Alexander’s) princes, Seleucus, “shall be strong above him, and have dominion”; his kingdom was larger, stronger, and more powerful than the Ptolemaic kingdom, and it occupied the very grounds of Babylon, where Alexander had died. This principle of the King of the North’s strength will prove true not only now, but until the end of the prophecy, whoever occupies the title of “The King of the North” is generally stronger and more influential. The King of the North is the stronger, larger kingdom, but they’re struggling with one another. [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:6- And in the end of years they (Ptolemy & Antiochus) shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south (Bernice) shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she (Bernice) shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he (Antiochus) stand, nor his arm: but she (Bernice) shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that was begotten of her (her children), and he that strengthened her in these times.”] After many wars between Ptolemy Philadelphus (II), king of Egypt (south), and Antiochus Theos (I), king of Syria (north), they agreed to make peace in confederacy with one another. The condition was that Antiochus, king of the north, on should put away his wife Laodice with her sons, and marry Berenice, Ptolemy II’s daughter. This was their agreement of peace.
The Scripture says: “She shall not retain the power of his arm”. Bernice, the King of the South’s daughter did not retain the power with Seleucus, the King of the North. Antiochus I decided that he wasn’t happy with Bernice from the South, so he divorced her, and remarried his former wife, Laodice.
Laodice’s confidence was shaken in him, so she had him killed fulfilling the word “neither shall he stand, nor his arm”. Then “she”, that is Bernice, “shall be given up”, “and they that brought her”, the attendans that came from Egypt with her, supporting her as Queen of the North, and “he that was begotten of her”, Bernice’s child, were all executed. By this, Laodice proclaimed her son Seleucus II as king. [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:7- But out of a branch of her roots (Bernice’ father Ptolemy) shall one stand up in his estate (her brother, Ptolemy Eugertes), which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north (Seleucus, son of Laodice), and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:”]
“Out of a branch of her roots”; that is Bernice’s roots. This is speaking of Ptolemy II Philadelphus. A branch out of Ptolemy II is Berenice’s brother, Ptolemy III Eugertes, who stood up in his father’s estate as King of the South because his father had died. Ptolemy III was enraged at the treachery of the Antiochus Theos, King of the North. He came with an army, and waged war on the king of the North, Laodice’s son Seleucus II. This war was called the Third Syrian War. [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 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 (Euergetes III) shall continue more years than the king of the north (Seleucus, son of Laodice).”]
This war from the King of the South in the war occupied territory from the coasts of Syria, from Antioch to Babylon. History testifies that he carried back the treasures that Cambyses II, the successor of Cyrus the great, had carried into the northern territories. It had remained in the same territory until it was retrieved. Thus Ptolemy III, through the avenging of his sister, brought back all the treasures that had been lost so many years before. “And he shall continue more years than the king of the north”; Ptolemy III outlived and reigned nine years longer than the king of the north, who died a prisoner in Parthia five years before Ptolemy Euergetes. “This prince carried off 40,000 talents of silver with a prodigious quantity of gold and silver vessels and 2,500 statues, part of which were those Egyptian idols that Cambyses, after his conquest of that kingdom, had sent into Persia. Ptolemy gained the hearts of his subjects by replacing those idols in their ancient temples, when he returned from this expedition; for the Egyptians, who were more devoted to their superstitious idolatry than all the rest of mankind, thought they could not sufficiently express their veneration and gratitude to a king, who had restored their gods to them in such a manner. Ptolemy derived from this action the title of Euergetes, which signified a benefactor…” Rollin II:80 [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:9-10 – So the king of the south (Ptolemy III) shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land. But his sons (the king of the North’s sons Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus) shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one (Antiochus III, the younger brother- an able field general) shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.”]
Though Ptolemy III returned to the land with the riches of Egypt, Seleuces II died in prison. His sons that “shall be stirred up” are the sons of the King of the North, Seleucus Ceraunus III and Antiochus III the great. They assemble a “multitude of great forces”. ‘Sons’ is in the plural, but by the end of the verse it is in the singular, “and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.” Though there was two sons, Seleucus III and Antiochus III, one was incompetent (Seleucus Ceraunus). Being the elder and the successor to the throne, he was the one that began the preparation for war. His generals were so frustrated with his abilities that they poisoned him. Seleucus was assassinated in Anatolia by members of his army while on campaign against Attalus I of Pergamon. Then the second son (Antiochus III) takes up the task. and builds a mighty army to return back against the King of the South in response to what they have done; he was the “one” that would “come, and overflow, and pass through”. [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:11-12 – And the king of the south (Ptolemy Philopater IV) shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north (Antiochus III): and he (the King of the North- Antiochus III) shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his (Ptolemy IV) hand. 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.”]
The verse explains sufficiently for itself what happened. Ptolemy IV Philopater, king of the South, was victorious over Antiochus III, king of the North, and had “taken away the multitude” by conquering many provinces.
In the historian Prudeau’s account, in the chapter ‘Connections’ under the 217 BC time period, we read: “Philopater, was a fellow of abandoned lust and dissipation. He was so elated by his victory over Antiochus that he held processions through the provinces.” So elated was the King of the South at his victory as he was coming back to Egypt, he celebrated and had processions through each area. But who were the “ten thousands” who he shall “cast down”? As he was celebrating his victory procession back into Egypt, he entered Jerusalem and after a blasphemous act of offering sacrifices to the God of heaven, he tried to enter the Most Holy Place of the temple, in spite of the protest and entreaties of the Jews in charge. “He was smitten from God with such a terror and confusion of mind that he was carried out of the place in a manner half dead. On this he departed from Jerusalem, filled with great wrath against the whole nation of the Jews for that which happened to him in that place and venting many threatenings against them for it.” Prideaux, The Old and New Testament, p. 77
The ten thousands he shall cast down is describing his retaliation against the Jews for this incident. “In vengeance for his disgrace at Jerusalem he returned to his country and endeavoured to force the many Jews in Egypt to sacrifice to Egypt’s heathen gods and renounce their worship of Jehovah. When 300 Jews adopted the heathen religion, they were excommunicated by the Jewish society. Regarding this as a further insult to himself, Philopater determined to destroy the Jews in his dominion and commanded that as many as could be rounded up, be brought in chains to Alexandria…These were placed in a large arena, and it was proposed that on a certain day, a great public spectacle would be made, by turning wild and drunken elephants upon them. The devout Jews earnestly called upon God and when the appointed time came, the drunken and maddened beasts were let loose…But they turned their rage upon all those who came to see the show and destroyed great numbers of them. Besides, several appearances were soon seen in the air, which much frightened the king and all the spectators. All which, manifesting the interposal of Divine power in the protection of those people. Philopater durst not any longer prosecute his rage against them, but ordered them to be all set free and fearing the Divine vengeance upon him in their behalf, he restored them to all their privileges, rescinding and revoking all his decrees, which he had published against them.” p. 133
Three years later, in 213 BC, despite all of this, Philopater, on another pretext, slew 40,000 Jews. Thus he cast down ten-thousands. [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:13-14 – For the king of the north (Antiochus III) 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. And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south (Ptolemy V Epiphanes): also the robbers (Rome) of thy people (Daniel’s people) shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they (those who stand against Ptolemy) shall fall.”] The king of the north (Antiochus III the great) comes against Ptolemy V Epiphanes, who is five years of age when he takes the throne as king of the south, because his father Ptolemy IV Philopater had died. The king of the North “shall set forth a multitude greater than the former” because he formed a pact with King Philip V of Macedon in 203BC to come again the Ptolemaic empire (the king of the south).
Specifically in the Battle of Panium, Antiochus III, in 201BC, through the generalship of his son, Antiochus IV, overtook many lands, and this included Judea, which fell under the control of the Seleucid empire, not long after Ptolemy Philpater of Egypt had cast down many Jews. Ptolemy V Epiphanes was five years of age when he took the throne, and being so young, many came against him at this time when the kingdom was paralyzed, and conspiracies abounded.
“And the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision”; this refers to Rome, who had alliances with Pergamum and Rhodes, who were fighting against Philip V of Macedon, who had been united with the king of the north, Antiochus III. On the appeal of Rome’s allies for aid, the Romans came and sent an army to Greece and attacked Macedon, defeating Philip V, and forcing him to become an ally with Rome. Antiochus III sought to liberate Macedonia, but failed; the Romans sent an army to the Battle of the Eurymedon and Myonessus. The Seleucid empire of Antiochus III fought against the armies of Rome at Magnesia, but lost and Antiochus was forced to surrender to the Romans, resulting in the Treaty of Apamea. Though many came against the king of the south, because Rome exalted itself, those who came against the king of the south would fall.
Gabriel calls Rome “the robbers of Daniel’s people”; this is because is by Rome, from Rome, and through Rome that the greatest losses would be sustained to his descendants, both physical and spiritual as will be seen later on. They exalt themselves against the kings, and this establishes them as a great empire in order to “establish the vision (chazon)”. This vision being spoken about is the chazon vision of Daniel 8. It is established in Daniel 9 by the crucifixion of Christ. It is Rome who crucify the Christ of Daniel 9, and destroy the city and the sanctuary, robbing it of it’s vessels. But Rome, through the the compromises of the Christian church, rob Daniel’s people of far more than the physical sanctuary vessels of gold. [/expand]
***Please note, this prophecy has to do with God’s people. Every time the king of the south and the king of the north fought, Judea, which was the land of God’s people until their rejection of the Messiah, was in the center of the conflict. The king of the south was south of Judea, while the king of the north was north of Judea; the principle of these kings is not as much locality, as much as it is who is in the centrality of the conflict. God’s people exchanged hands seven times over the Ptolemaic/Seleucid wars, where it would finally have it’s end; but then God’s people would be placed under different powers, also taking the honors of the title king of the south, and king of the north.
[expand title=”Daniel 11:15 – So the king of the north shall come (Antiochus Ephiphanes), and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his (God’s) chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.”] The last advance from as the Seleucid empire as the king of the north before it is taken under the complete dominion of Rome, finds Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who had set himself as king over the empire, coming against the Egyptians successfully. 1 Maccabees relates the account: “When Antiochus had firmly established himself as king, he decided to conquer Egypt and rule that country as well as Syria. He invaded Egypt with a large fleet of ships and a powerful army, including chariots, elephants, and cavalry. When the attack came, King Ptolemy of Egypt turned and fled, and many of his soldiers were killed. Antiochus was able to capture the fortified cities of Egypt and plunder the whole land.” (1 Maccabees ch. 1:16-19)
In verse 13-14, the fifth Syrian war took place when Ptolemy V Epiphanes was only a child. His successor was Ptolemy VI Philometor (King of the south), then a minor of six years of age where the sixth war began. The Ptolemies desired to retake the land that the king of the north had secured of Caelo-Syria (the district where Judea of the Jews were in the heart of) in 171-168 BC. Antiochus IV Epiphanes(king of the North) raised a greater army than before, and having defeated his best troops under Scopas, made sure of Caelo-Syria and Palestine, with all their fortified cities.
“Neither his chosen people” refers to God’s chosen people, who Antiochus IV Epiphanes had greatly harassed at this time from 168-165BC, leading to the Maccabean revolt in 165 BC, which ended in Judea securing the temple, but seeking protection in the treaty called the league Rome, where it would henceforth by under the jurisdiction and protection of Rome. [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:16 – But he (Rome) that cometh against him (Antiochus) shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land (Jerusalem), which by his hand shall be consumed.”] The Roman Empire shall “do according to his own will”, and come against Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 168BC, when Antiochus sought to make a second attack upon Egypt. It was said of Egypt in verse 15 of the king of the south, “neither shall there be any strength to stand”. The young Ptolemy VI had fled from Antiochus when the battle was lost, but when he fled, he ran to the Roman Senate for protection; and the king of the south also, like the king of the north before him, came under the banner of Rome as it established itself empirically.
Before Antiochus reached Alexandria for the second attack upon Egypt, who was now under the protection of Rome, his path was blocked by a single elderly Roman ambassador named Gaius Popillius Laenas. Popillius delivered a message from the Roman Senate directing Antiochus IV to withdraw his armies from Egypt and Cyprus or consider himself in a state of war with the Roman Republic. Antiochus IV said he would discuss it with his council, whereupon the Roman ambassador drew a line in the sand around Antiochus and said: “Before you leave this circle, give me a reply that I can take back to the Roman Senate.” This implied Rome would declare war if the King stepped out of the circle without committing to leave Egypt immediately. Weighing his options, Antiochus decided to withdraw. Only then did Popillius agree to shake hands with him. Now, the king of the north was powerless; already because of the treaty signed under Antiochus III, it was under the dominion of Roman rule, but with the king of the south becoming a protectorate state under the Roman rule, and Antiochus IV submitting to Roman authority, it was fulfilled the saying which was written: “And none shall stand before him.”
Rome would even “stand in the glorious land”. Although Judea had been in league with Rome for protection, it had peace and independance generally until 63 BC. At this time, Pompey the great, a political and military leader of Rome, was requested to intervene in a controversy which led to war taking place between the Jews via two princes.
One of the parties, Aristobulus, angered Pompey by his careless actions, sent a Roman troop came in to take Jerusalem. Aristobulus’ supporters refused the takeover. But Aristobulus’ brother, Hyrcanus II, had supporters which opened the city to him, but refused him the right to takeover. The forces of his opponent, Aristobulus, fought against Pompey and Hyrcanus. After two months, the Romans broke through and massacred some 12,000 of the Jews defending the Temple. Judea was required to pay tribute to the Roman administration. It relinquished much land, and was severely crippled in it’s movements from this time forward.
His work done in Jerusalem, Pompey returned to Rome expecting to be made the Emperor. However, he had strong competition for the job. One of his competitors was Julius Caesar, who was a great general in his own right. He did in the West what Pompey had done in the East and subdued the peoples in what is today England, France and the Rhineland of Germany.
These two great Roman generals agreed that Rome would be run by a Triumvirate: Julius Caesar, Pompey and a third General, Crassus. However, the Triumvirate lasted only five years, leaving Pompey and Caesar in a rivalry for control. [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:17 – He (Julius Caesar) shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones (Jews) with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women (Cleopatra), corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.”] Julius Caesar sets himself to take the entire kingdom at this time. Rome is a republic, but sole power is decided as the triumvirate of executive power disintegrates. Therefore Caesar pursues to be the emperor of Rome.
The Senate of Rome backed Pompey, but Caesar relentlessly marched his army across the Rubicon, the famous river that marked the boundary between Italy proper to the south and its provinces to the north. Roman law forbade a Roman army to cross the river. In doing so, Caesar was committing an act of war.
As Caesar’s army entered Rome, Pompey and the Roman Senate fled for their lives. Caesar declared himself Emperor and pursued Pompey all the way to Egypt. Once there, he committed a tactical error which found himself besieged in Alexandria by Pompey’s army and its allies. Desperately in need of support, he looked for any help that would aid him in his dire situation.
Until that time, Hyrcanus II (who was also high priest in Judea) had been an official ally of Pompey. But the prophecy says that Julius Caesar would set himself to enter into the whole kingdom as emperor with the aid of upright ones. Therefore, Hyracanus II switched sides and declared his allegiance to Caesar. Then were committed over 3,000 Jewish soldiers to an expeditionary force that invaded Egypt and helped raise the siege of Alexandria in 47 BC.
Thus, when the Roman civil war ended in Julius Caesar’s complete victory Hyrcanus was in a much more favorable position. Caesar showed the Jews his gratitude for their help. He revoked the harsh decrees and burdensome taxation imposed by Pompey. He also allowed the walls and fortifications of Jerusalem to be rebuilt and restored Jaffa as well as a number of other coastal cities to Jewish rule.
At the same time, a civil war because of the controversy between Cleopatra and her brother is taking place, Julius Caesar enters into an affair with her, and she becomes pregnant with Caesarion, who she hopes will become Julius’ successor; thus fulfilling the saying “he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her:…” Yet the prophecy also says “but she shall not stand [reign] on his side, neither be for him.” She cannot reign with him according to Roman law (it is unlawful for a Roman politician to marry a foreigner), but she seeks influence from him to gain power and gain the throne which was being seized by Ptolemy at this time. As Julius was not able to amend the Roman Law, he could not name Cleopatra or Caesarion in his will. [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:18 – After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince (Marc Antony) for his (Julius) own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.”]
After Cleopatra, Julius Caesar takes the Roman Empire and becomes dictator. Cleopatra and Caesar’s relationship was extremely unpopular with the Roman Senate. Calpurnia, Caesar’s legitimate wife, was the daughter of a prominent Roman family and while like a good Roman woman she was subservient and demure, Cleopatra was powerful and outspoken. Caesar had many enemies in Rome by this time – chief amongst whom was the orator Cicero. Cicero declared Alexandria “the home of all tricks and deceits” and openly admitted that he despised Cleopatra. He was of the opinion that women were intellectually weak and should always be under the power of their male guardians so he was greatly concerned about Cleopatra’s influence over Caesar. Rumours began to circulate that Caesar planned to move the capital of the Empire to Alexandria and senators began plotting how they could reverse Caesar’s reforms.
After this, the Roman senate confers special honors upon Julius Caesar, and his conquests seem ready to overtake the entire world.
As pressure increased against Caesar, Mark Antony joined his mentor in Gaul and engaged in a series of battles between Caesar and Pompey. Antony again helped Caesar defeat his enemies and he returned to Rome as Caesar’s second in command. Having amassed a great deal of power, in 45 B.C., Caesar was designated dictator for one year. Pompey’s sons escaped to Spain; After spending the first months of 47 BC in Egypt, Caesar went to the Middle East, where he annihilated the king of Pontus; his victory was so swift and complete that he mocked Pompey’s previous victories over such poor enemies. Caesar gave chase and defeated the last remnants of opposition in the Battle of Munda in March 45 BC.
“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.” This was Marc Antony, the second-in-command under Caesar. Antony finds himself immersed in an affair with Cleopatra, although married to Octavia, Caesar Augsutus (Julius’ successor) daughter. As a result of this affair, he turns the reproach that was upon Julius Caesar before his assassination upon himself. As a result, Caesar Augustus declared war upon, and this led to the fall of the southern kingdom in Egypt in the battle of Actium in 31 BC, as well as the death of both Marc Antony and Cleopatra.
Antony had instituted Herod the great in Jerusalem to be king, who would rule for four decades. This was the Herod who discovered that the Messiah was to be born and it was said “Then Herod…was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under…” (Matthew 2:16) [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:19 – Then he (Julius Caesar) shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.”] Caesar’s actions led many to believe he was positioning himself to become king. A plot to assassinate him emerged, and on March 15, 44 B.C., he was killed in the Roman Senate. [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:20 – Then shall stand up in his (Julias Caesar) estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he (Augustus Caesar) shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.”]
This refers to Augustus Caesar, who succeeded Julius Caesar, and waged war against Marc Antony for treachery against his daughter with Cleopatra. He is referred to as “a raiser of taxes;”. Luke spoke of this in his account of the gospel: “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)” (Luke 2:1-2) [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:21 – And in his (Caesar Augustus) estate shall stand up a vile person (Tiberius Caesar), to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.”] This speaks of Tiberius Caesar, who succeeded Augustus Caesar. “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene…” (Luke 3:1) Born Tiberius Claudius Nero, a Claudian, Tiberius was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Octavian, later known as Caesar Augustus, in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian.
Livia had petitioned Augustus Caesar to proclaim that he would be emperor when Augustus died. Augustus, seeing the manner of Tiberius’ refused, and picked several others, but they died before they could take the empire.
Tiberius’ mother Livia then pled with Augustus Caesar, and he, in his old age, agreed to let him take control of the kingdom at his death.
He is the one “to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom” Tiberius was not given the honor of the kingdom, yet still received the kingdom in the end. Without warning, in 6 B.C. Tiberius, the visible heir to Augustus, announced his withdrawal from public life and went to live on Rhodes with some personal friends and an astrologer, Thrasyllus.
Augustus was forced to find other successors; his adopted sons, Gaius and Lucius Caesar, were still too young to assume the heavy responsibilities of the Principate, and Augustus now had no immediate successor to assume power and see the boys to maturity.
Augustus’s irritation of the matter is revealed by his repeated refusal to allow Tiberius to return to Rome after Tiberius realized the delicacy of his position on Rhodes; despite the pleas of Livia in favor of Tiberius. When Tiberius’s powers expired in 1 BC they were not renewed, but it seemed he would be put to death. However, in 2 AD, Lucius Caesar died of an illness at Massilia. Augustus, resistant to the idea of allowing Tiberius to return, finally yielded to the requests of Livia and Gaius Caesar on his behalf. Tiberius returned to Rome and did not partake of any politics until Gaius Caesar unexpectedly died of a wound received during a siege in Armenia. Augustus, devastated, was left without his adoptive sons and, more importantly, without an heir and successor. His careful planning for the succession had come to nothing. In the crisis, he turned once more to Tiberius.
It was said that Tiberius “shall come in peaceably”; so it was by the necessity of Augustus needing an heir. He would “take the kingdom by flatteries” because of the pleadings of Livia, his mother. Tiberius did not desire the kingdom for himself, and wished he did not have to take the position as emperor of the kingdom. He was relunctant, and refused to bear the honors of the kingdom: titles Pater Patriae, Imperator, and Augustus, and he declined the emblem of the Princeps, the Civic Crown and laurels. He was vile in his baser passions which he gave himself over to, while always being of a very dark and gloomy manner. [/expand]
[expand title=”Daniel 11:22 – And with the arms of a flood shall they (The Jews) be overflown from before him (Tiberius), and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant (Christ).”] Christ is here set forth as crucified as “the Prince of the covenant”, “Messian the Prince” of Daniel 9, who confirms the covenant with many for one week during Tiberius’ reign.
Before this time, “the arms of a flood” of persecution came upon the Jews. In 19 AD, Tiberius ordered the Jews who were of military age to join the Roman army, and everyone else was banished from Rome under the threat of slavery. Tiberius’ successors all dying before him, he made no effort to secure a replacement. Finally, in 26 AD, Tiberius retired from Rome to the island of Capri.
Lucius Aelius Sejanus served as the imperial family for nearly 20 years, being made Praetorian Prefect in 15 AD. Tiberius, more and more, gave the limited powers invested in the Praetorians to rule, and chiefly Sejanus, whom Tiberius had statues erected around the city of; that Sejanus might become more and more visible, while Tiberius slow withdrew himself from public life. By 26 AD, Sejanus acted as vice-regent of Tiberius, being left in charge with the duties of communicating with the senate and the city of Rome. There was resistance to Sejanus’ authority, and Tiberius’ mother Livia held him in check until her death three years later.
After this, he became a series of trials which would put Senators and the wealthy citizens of Rome which opposed his power to death. These were accused of certain offenses by Sejanus’, who claimed to Tiberius via correspondance, that they were inciting rebellion, or seeking to take imperial power to themselves. Thus Tiberius would order them to be tried, imprisoned, and issued with the death sentence. In this way, Sejanus was able to influence Caesar according to his will.
Sejanus was also very hostile towards the Jews; thus we see the fallen angel influencing the mind Sejanus against the people of God, and by him, the Caesar.
He instituted Pontius Pilate as governor over Judea to implement his anti-Jewish policies. The followers of Judas Gaulonitis, who opposed paying tribute to Caesar and submitting to the Roman government fell victim to these policies, which caused Pilate to slaughter the Jews for any-and-every reason. A company of them came to Jerusalem during one of the great festivals, and presenting their oblations in the court of the temple, Pilate treacherously sent a company of soldiers, who slew them, and “mingled their blood with their sacrifices.” (Luke 3:1) These anti-semetic policies were “the arms of a flood” that cause them to be “overflown, and shall be broken.”
This climaxed when Sejanus plotted to take the imperial throne for himself in Rome, and Tiberius’ realizing the devices forcast by Sejanus, sent a letter to the senate, delivered by Sejanus who had not read the whole of the letter, and it condemned him at the latter sentence. When he was put to death, Tiberius Caesar reversed the anti-Jewish policies of Sejanus in 31 AD. The year Christ, the Prince of the covenant, was to be crucified. Here we see the angel Gabriel at work to influence the mind of Tiberius for good, that the Jews, who had “sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death” (Mark 14:1) might not so readily charge crimes upon him, to be responsible for his death.
Tiberius Caesar had ordered Pontius Pilate to no longer ill-treat the Jews, after the policies of Sejanus. And this placed him in a hard position. Regarding the trial of Christ, it is said: “And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.”
The Jews used Caesar’s favorable disposition towards them against Pilate; knowing that if he did not send Christ to be put to death, they would send envoys to Caesar against him, having him removed from his station as one who was against the Jews when he was ordered to do otherwise.
In order to pacify the Jews, Pilate sent Christ away to be crucified, but not without a confession of rejection. “And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.”
By this, they were in league with no power higher than Caesar; by this they unchurched themselves, showing they were not the people of God. By their own will, they showed that they worked under the influence of the fallen angels rather than Michael, and his angel. [/expand]