Daniel 11 – Who were the Kings of the North and South?

(Research information from DANIEL ELEVEN, Verse by Verse Written by Ulrike Unruh)

 Many Bible Scholars claim that the books of the Prophets have already been fulfilled and have little importance for Christians today.  They feel most of the books were fulfilled by the time of the captivity of Jerusalem in 585 BC.

However they can’t explain away the prophecy in Daniel chapter 11 with this argument.  Daniel chapter 11 prophecies span from the time of Daniel until the rise of the Roman Catholic Church.  Chapter 11 talks about Julius Caesar, all of the Persian Kings, Alexander the Great, Cleopatra and the rise of the Roman Empire and Catholic Church.  It explains history so precisely that it has become strumbling block for modern historians.

World Power Moves from Persian to Greek Kings

Daniel 11:2
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.

The Persian kings who followed Cyrus were; Cambyses (529-522) who conquered Egypt, Smerdis (522-521) Darius the Great(521-485), who started the wars against the Persians, and the fourth is Xerxes who ruled (486-465 B.C.)

Forty years after Cyrus decreed that Israel return to Jerusalem. Most people were still in Babylon; they were too comfortable in Babylon. However God wanted them out of Babylon. God allowed Xerxes to issue a decree against them.  A death decree! But God also made a way of escape for them.

Daniel 8:4 refers to the Persian kings as the Ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward, who became great.

Both Darius and Xerxes attacked the Greek States. Darius’ attempt was not very successful, but Xerxes did bring troops against the Greek States. The Persian fleet was all but annihilated and Xerxes retreated. However, the Greeks saw a chance to gain power. Thus the prophetic picture now leaves the Persian Empire and focuses on Greece.

Daniel 11.3
And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.

This text is the same as  Daniel 8:5 refers the He Goat who came from the west with the horn between his eyes. The horn is identified in Daniel 8:21 as the first king of Grecia who is Alexander 333-323 B.C and he defeats the Persian “ram”.

Daniel 11.4
And when he 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.

Alexander the Great is that mighty king. Daniel 8:5-8 speaks of this “he-goat” coming from the west and tramping the ram which was Persia.

“The he-goat waxed very great and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds (four directions) of heaven. (Dan. 8:8)

At the height of Alexander’s campaign, he died in the land of Babylon. He actually ruled from Babylon and was worhshiped as a god. His kingdom then divided among his four generals:

South (Egypt) was ruled by Ptolemy,
North (Syria) by Seleucus,
the west (Greece) by Cassander,
and Asia Minor was ruled by Lysimachus

Alexander was only 33 when he died and one of the most influential military minds the world had ever seen. His shadow fell over the known civilization of his time and is still influencing the world today. In a very short time space he established a one government rule.  When we study the history of Rome we find Julius Caesar planning just such a world authority once again. In the end time scenes we once again will see another world leader.

The Battles of the Four Greek Generals

Daniel 11.5
And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.

The Ptolemy dynasty in the south was strong. They reigned over their territory with a central power, like the ancient Egyptians. Their capital was set up in Alexandria. It was the center of Greece philosophy and cultural center.  This city will play a huge role in the establishment of the Catholic Church later in history.  They became the most important commercial port on the Mediterranean and they also controlled the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Their trade route reached from the Red Sea to Hellespont. They also took possession of Palestine and southern Syria.

But the kingdom above him, the general Seleucus Nicator,(312-281) with the assistance of Ptolemy I Sotar, took command of the northern territory. The Seleucids took over Syria and Asia Minor from Lysimachus, and thus had dominion in the north. They were the chief heirs of Alexander’s kingdom and held the larger part of his empire, from the Aegean Sea to India. Their form of government was “city centered”, yet each city was answerable to the larger Seleucid kingdom.

Though both the king of the North and the king of the South were spreading the Greek culture, they did not get along very well. Israel was situated in the middle of the feuding powers, and for the first 100 years was under the dominion of the Ptolemy. We read of Ptolemy IV Epiphanies entering Jerusalem and trying to offer sacrifices in their temple.

Antiochus III the Great had taken Palestine away from the Ptolemy, Antiochus IV Epiphanes actually lost control of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem for the first time in years enjoyed a short period of independence. Antiochus IV Epiphanies (175-164) forced desecrating religious practices upon the Jews, which caused the Jews to rally, under the leadership of the Maccabees. Rome had already entered the scene and conquered considerable Seleucid territory in the west, in battles against Antiochus III. Indeed, as a child Antiochus IV Epiphanes had been taken a “hostage” to Rome, as a means for Rome to control his father Antiochus III Magnus (the great).

By this time, the whole Jewish teachings were Hellenized, the truth of God was mixed with heathen philosophy. The Greeks were an intellectual power and revealed her strength in philosophy.  They developed a Kabbalistic religion or “Jewish mysticism”.

The kingdom of Alexander may have resolved itself into two major divisions, yet it was the northern division which carried forward the work of the prophecy as it is the north that symbolizes the later Roman horn of Daniel 8 as the King of the North. Nevertheless, there will be throughout the ages until the end of time a power rising from the south and opposing the northern power. This will again be seen in the Islamic take over of the south during the Middle Ages when the stout horn of the fourth beast has supremacy in the North.

Daniel 11.6
And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.

In this case it was Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, (285-246) who was given in marriage to the king of the north, Antiochus II Theos, (261-246) in the hopes of bringing peace between the two powers.  Antiochus II Theos put away his own wife, Laodice, in order to marry Berenice. Bernice lost favor in the eyes of Antiochus who restored Laodice as his wife. However, Laodice was determined to have her revenge.  She arranged to have her husband Antichus poisoned.  She also killed Berenice, her children, attendants and supporters.

Daniel 11.7
But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:
And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north.
So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.

The treacherous act against Bernice caused her brother a large army against the Seluicid kingdom. Ptolemy III Euergetes, is here described.  He not only invaded Syria, but went to Babylon and took molten images. It is said that he carried to Egypt forty thousand vessels of silver and gold. Ptolemy III Euergetes returned to his own kingdom.

Daniel 11.10
But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.

Two sons of Antiochus II Callinicus (246-225) undertook to regain the lost territory of the “king of the North” and redeem the honor of their father. The younger, Antiochus III Magnus, (Antiochus the Great) (223-187) regaining much of the lost territory and then took the Seluecid throne.

Daniel 11.11
And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his 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.

Ptolemy IV Epiphanes, ruler in the South, went forth to fight with Antiochus III (the king of the North)/ Antichus III was defeated and lose ten thousand soldiers. Yet nothing was gained by the battle.

Ptolemy IV Epiphanes entered Jerusalem, and attempted to force the Jews to allow him to offer sacrifices in their temple. The restraint offered by the priests so angered him that when he returned to Egypt he killed several thousand Jews who then lived in Egypt.

Daniel 11.13
For the king of the north 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.

For a period of fourteen years, there was peace between the Ptolemy and the Seleucids.  Antiochus III Magnus, took advantage of this seeming weakness in Egypt and made extensive preparations to invade Egypt. He made an alliance with Philip of Macedon, in the west, to make a joint attack on Egypt, whose possessions they would then divide.

The Rise of Rome

Daniel 11.14
And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.

While the heirs of Alexander’s empire continued to feud, the power of Rome had been slowly rising in the West.The Romans had fought a victorious battle in the Hannibalic War (Second Punic War) ending in 201 B.C. which made Rome a power to be reckoned with. In the First Punic War (264-241) they had gained Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica. Now Rome is moving forward to conquer the whole Hellenistic World.

Rome robbed its conquered territories. For example, in Spain all the citizens were taxed; the silver mines, gold mines, state property and the wealth confiscated and no city was allowed to fortify itself without the consent of Rome. The inhabitants of Corsica and Ardinia were sold in the slave markets of Rome. After the conquest of Greece, one hundred and fifty thousand Greeks were sold as slaves.

Isaiah 42.24
Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.
Ez. 7.22,24,25
My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter it and defile it. I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled. Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.

Daniel 7 refers to the fourth beast (Rome) as devouring and breaking in pieces.  It was Pagan Rome that would “spoil” the land of Israel, and destroy it, and continue to fulfill the vision of the fourth beast with the stout horn in Daniel 7 speaking blasphemies, changing God’s laws, and persecuting God’s faithful.

Daniel 11.15
So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.

So this new “king of the north”, Rome, who had emerged victorious in the Punic Wars, began to receive appeals for help from the Southern states against King Philip V of Macedonia. Since Philip of Macedonia had aided the Carthage leader, Hannibal, in the Punic wars, Rome saw him as a threat. Philip was defeated by the Roman forces in 197 B.C. The Roman armies then confronted the Seleucid king, Antiochus the Great (Magnus) and in 190 B.C. defeated him at Magnesia thus already reducing much of the Greek empire to vassal status.  Fifty years later, Rome took the key cities of the former Greek Kingdom. Both Corinth and Carthage, commercial rivals of Rome. They were pillaged and burned in the same year 146 B.C.  As to Egypt, it too became a vassal of Rome in 168. Also people the land of Israel would be become vassals in 63 B.C.

This is the rise of the little horn of Daniel 8:9 which came up out of one of the winds (the west). The little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east and toward the glorious land.

Daniel 11.16
But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.

This new “king of the North” which comes against the king of the South, would do according to his own will, (dictators) and none shall stand before him.  Rome begins it’s rise to an empire with “one man power”.In the early years, Rome was governed by a senate and assembly, not by an authoritative ruler. Because of general discontent, it seemed necessary to look to a “one man” power to govern. The people chose Marius but the Senate favored Sulla. Sulla defeated the people’s armies. He forced his own appointment as dictator with considerable power (82 B.C.) Following the death of Sulla, Pompey was elected consul (70 B.C.)In forty days Pompey cleared the sea of Pirates. He then moved on and crushed the remnant of the kingdom of the Seleucids and entered Jerusalem and brought the land of Israel under Roman control.  Rome was now standing in control of “the glorious land”. Rome would utterly consume their homeland by 134 A.D.

Daniel 11.17
He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.

It was Julius Caesar, a nephew of Marius, who first gained emperor status. First he was in a Triumvirate with Pompey and Crassus, but then after defeating Pompey, he made himself the supreme ruler of the Roman Empire. He lead his armies against Egypt. In Egypt, Julius Caesar met Cleopatra, the last of the Ptolemies. He was victorious over the ruling faction in Alexandria and placed Cleopatra on the Egyptian throne. She did not stay loyal to Julius Caesar but joined with Anthony, his rival.

Daniel 11.18
After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but 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.

It is recorded that: “in less than ten years he captured more than 800 towns, brought into submission 300 tribes, fought against 3,000,000 foes, killed a million, and took a million prisoners. He made the Rhine the frontier between the Germanic tribes and Roman Gaul and then invaded Southern Britain to punish the Britons for sending aide to the people in Gaul. Thus his Gallic Wars (58-51 B.C.) took him to the English Channel, twice he crossed (55 and 54 B.C.) but merely imposed a tribute on the Britain king– which was never paid.  He took Isles of Greece, North Africa and Spain.

Despite all his victories Caesar had enemies. There were men in Rome who feared Caesar’s ambitions, accusing him of being a tyrant they struck him down.

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.

Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.

After Julius Caesar’s death, Octavian seized power after a short struggle. Anthony and Cleopatra were defeated. Egypt became Roman territory. At last the unity of the Roman Empire was under the power of a single ruler. (30 B.C.)  Octavian was name Augustus Caesar and ruled for 45 years. It was during his reign that we read in :

Luke 2:1
… there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

This tax brought the parents of Christ to Bethlehem.

Christ comes to this world to confirm His covenant

Daniel 11.21
And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.

Christ’s ministry was during the reign of Tiberius, and while that “vile person” worked, planned, mistrusted and murdered the opposition, the HOLY ONE of Israel. Tiberius was not a direct heir to the throne, yet through the help of his convincing mother, he acquired the throne.

Daniel 11.22
And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the Prince of the covenant

Jer. 47.2
Thus saith the LORD; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein: then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl.

This corresponds to Daniel 9:24-27 where 70 weeks or 490 day/years were granted Israel following their restoration after the Babylonian captivity, to prepare themselves and the world for the coming Messiah.
Messiah the Prince shall come after 69 weeks. Messiah will be cut off. He shall confirm a covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week.

Vespasian was declared emperor in 69 A.D.  Vespasian had been engaged in crushing a revolt of the Jews in Palestine, and the next year his son Titus captured and destroyed Jerusalem.  He killed large numbers of Jews in (A.D. 70) Daniel’s prophecy in chapter 9 gives Israel 490 years to prepare for the coming Messiah who they denied.-

Christianity Unites with Paganism.

Daniel 11.23
And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.

The original word here translated “league is “chabar” meaning “to join selves together”, “be coupled together. We see a joining or coupling together, with the “king” who had sent the destructive flood. The most deceitful coupling together came  between the Roman government and the Roman church. This is what turned the “woman” into the harlot of Revelation 17, who, till the end of time commits fornication with the kings of the earth.

The “falling away” that the man of sin be revealed, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Thess. 2:3-4)

In Acts 18:2 we read that the emperor Claudius (41-54) commanded all Jews to depart from Rome. Twenty years later the Jews were besieged and their city destroyed by Rome. A second condition which prepared the Christians for their departure from truth and for their eventual union with Pagan.  During the years before Constantine, the Roman Empire was greatly weakened. It was not till 284-305 A.D. that Diocletian rose as a  emperor and brought a temporary end to the political confusion within the empire.  After Diocletian’s death, Constantine asumed ruleship of Rome. Constantine sought to find “common ground” and make an agreement that united Christianity with Paganism.

Roman Emperor Constantine was a devout “universal” follower of the “Cult of Sol Invictus”, whose motto was (is) “Soli Invicto Comiti”which is translated as, “Committed to the Invincible Sun”.

History shows that pagan celebrations were given Christian meaning.  For example: Statues of Isis and Horus were renamed Mary and Jesus. (The Story of Civilization, Vol. IV, page 73)  The statues of the gods from the Pantheon are now found in the Vatican Museum. However, the statue of Jupiter was seated on a throne in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and renamed St. Peter. Thousands of pilgrims kiss the foot of Jupiter thinking it is Peter.

It was Constantine that signed the Sunday law, of the “veneral day of the sun” which appeared to him the significant and effective expression of the union between paganism and Christianity, thus making Sunday the legal institution of the Christian church.

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