Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand…Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.” Daniel 10:12, 14
This final vision adds to Daniel’s previous vision of the Colossus. To quote from Agents of Babylon by Dr. David Jeremiah, it…
…deals with the rise and fall of empires, with alliances and intrigues, with the marching of armies, with imperial ambitions and palace plots.
Let’s take a look at the kings who so precisely fit the prophecy Daniel received.
AHASUERUS – Also known to us as Xerxes, the king who warred with Sparta and the stand of 300 Spartans at the Hot Gates. Daniel 11:2 predicted “Behold, three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth shall be far richer than them all; by his strength, through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece.”
He was the king at the time of Esther. That biblical book tells us that he reigned over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia.
ALEXANDER – Introduced as the goat which would defeat the ram in an earlier prophecy. Daniel 11:3 foretells “A mighty king shall arise, who will rule with great dominion and do according to his will.” He eventually would control the entire known world from Europe to India. Accomplished all of it by age 32; certainly a man of great dominion who did whatever he willed.
History records that he wept in his tent when he had accomplished all, because there were “no more worlds to conquer.” He became a drunk and carouser. His death at such a young age is a mystery, although theories include dying of acute alcoholism.
Daniel 11:4 predicts that his kingdom would be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven, “but not among his posterity.” Indeed, there were only two blood relatives who could have inherited his empire; a retarded brother and an illegitimate son. Both were murdered within months of Alexander’s death. His kingdom was split between his four generals.
Only Egypt and Syria rose to prominence, with Syria north of Israel and Egypt to the south.
ANTIOCHUS THE GREAT/THE THIRD – He gave his daughter, Cleopatra, aged 11 to Ptolemy’s son Ptolemy IV in a gambit to have her as his inside agent and help him defeat Egypt. That didn’t work out when Cleopatra sided with her husband against her father.
Antiochus tried to attack Egypt, but was turned back by the Roman army. When he returned home he tried to steal the treasures of his own temple to Jupiter, sufficiently enraging his own people against him that they murdered him. His body was never found. Consider how well this fulfills the prophecy in Daniel 11:18-19:
After this he shall turn his face to the coastlands, and shall take many. But a ruler shall bring the reproach against them to an end; and with the reproach removed, he shall turn back on him. 19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fortress of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
ANTIOCHIS EPIPHANUS – We learned of him earlier. It was he who set up the original abomination of desolation, which is the pattern after which the Antichrist will act. Daniel 11:21 predicts him thusly:
And in his place (Antiochus III) shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue.
Antiochus Epiphanes did indeed finagle his way into power with bribes. He then stirred up war with the kingdom to the south, Egypt. When he lost that conflict, he took out his rage on Israel, raping and murdering woman and slaughtering their children on sight. He then erected a statue of Zeus on their temple and defiled it with a pig sacrifice, throwing its blood all over the inside of the temple…the original abomination of desolation.
THE ANTICHRIST – The four kings above have come and gone. The last is yet to come. Earlier prophecy in Daniel describes who is. This last prophecy tells us what he does;
- He does whatever he wants
- He elevates himself as a god above all other gods.
- He will deliberately and pointedly blaspheme the one, true God.
- He will disregard all religion.
- He will be focused on his own military.
- He will attack other countries.
- He will repulse attacks against him and defeat his enemies early on.
- He will accumulate much wealth.
- He will eventually be defeated, not by men, and no one will help him.
There will be a great world war, which God will end before all humanity is destroyed. Then will begin Jesus’ 1000 year reign.
I am amazed how well these historical figures fulfilled Daniel’s vision! I also find this so comforting! I’ve lived most of my life believing that there’s just no way to tell when Jesus will come again. Indeed, no one knows the day or hour, but Daniel gives us the signs to discern the “season” of world events. We have a map to tell us where we’re going.
It’s called The Book of Daniel.