International Standard Version
1In year one of King Darius the Mede, I arose to fortify and strengthen him.’”
International Conflicts to Come
2“‘Now I’ll tell you the truth: Pay attention! Three more kings will arise in Persia. Then a fourth will gain more than them all. As soon as he gains power by means of his wealth, he’ll stir up everyone against the Grecian kingdoms.
3“‘A mighty king will come to power, and he’ll rule with awesome energy, doing whatever he pleases. 4However, after he has come to power, his kingdom will be broken and parceled out in all directions.a It won’t go to his succeeding descendants, nor will its power match how he ruled, because his sovereignty will be uprooted and given to successors besides them.
5“‘The southern king will become strong, along with one of his officials, who will become stronger than he and rule over his own realm with great power. 6After a number of years, they’ll become allies and the daughter of the southern king will go to the northern king in order to craft alliances. But she won’t remain in power, nor will he retain his power. Instead, she’ll be surrendered, along with her entourage, the one who fathered her, and the one who supported her at that time.
7“‘One of her family line will replace him. He’ll come against the army and enter the fortress of the northern king, conquering them and becoming victorious. 8He’ll also take their gods, their molten images, and their valuable vessels of silver and gold into Egypt as hostages. He’ll avoid the northern king for a number of years. 9Then he’ll come against the realm of the southern king and then return to his own territory. 10His sons will prepare for war, assembling an army of considerable force. One of them will come on forcefully, overflowing, passing through, and waging war up to his own fortress.
11“‘The southern king will fly into a rage and march out to fight the northern king. He’ll gather a large army, but that army will be handed over to him. 12When that army has been defeated, he’ll become overconfident and slaughter many thousands, but he won’t succeed. 13The northern king will return and raise a greater army than before. After a few years, he’ll advance with a great force and with a vast amount of armaments.’”
Rebellion against the Southern King
14“‘During those years, many will rebel against the southern king. The more violent ones among your people will rebel in order to fulfill this vision, but they will fail. 15Then the northern king will come, erect a siege ramp, and capture a fortified city. The southern forces won’t prevail—not even with their best troops—and they’ll have no strength to take a stand.
16“‘However, the one who invades him will do whatever he wants to do. No one will oppose him. He’ll establish himself in the Beautiful Land, wielding devastating power. 17He’ll decide to come with the full power of his kingdom, bringing with him an alliance that he’ll implement. He’ll give him a daughter in marriage to overthrow it, but it won’t succeed or work out for him. 18Then he’ll turn his attention to the coastal landsb and will capture many. But a commander will put an end to his insolence, repaying him for his scorn. 19He’ll turn his attention toward the fortresses in his own territory, but he’ll stumble and fall, and won’t endure. 20His successor will send out a tax collector for royal splendor, but in a short period of time he’ll be shattered, though neither in anger nor in battle.’”
The Despicable King
21“‘In his place there will arise a despicable person, upon whom no royal authority has been conferred, but he’ll invade in a time of tranquility, taking over the kingdom through deception. 22Overwhelming forces will be carried away before him, along with the Commander-in-Chiefc of the covenant. 23From the time that an alliance is made with him, he’ll act deceitfully, and he will go up and take power with only a small group of nations. 24He’ll invade the most prosperous areas of the province during a time of tranquility, accomplishing what neither his predecessors nor his ancestors ever could. He’ll distribute war spoils, booty, and wealth to them, and he’ll plot the overthrow of fortresses, though only for a time. 25He’ll encourage himself against the southern king by raisingd a large army. As a result, the southern king will mobilize for war with a large and powerful army, but he won’t succeed because they will devise elaborate schemes against him. 26His own security detaile will undermine him, his army will be swept away, and many will fall and be killed in battle.f 27Now as for the two kings, their intentions will be evil, and they’ll promote deception at their dinner table, but none of this will succeed, because the end won’t have come yet. 28Then he’ll return to his homeland with great wealth, will focus his attention against the holy covenant, and will take action as he returns to his land.’”
Desecration of the Sanctuary
29“‘At the scheduled time he’ll return, moving southward, but the end result won’t be as before, 30because ships will come against him from the Mediterranean islands.g Disheartened, he’ll return, incited to vehemence against the holy covenant, and he’ll take action. As he returns, he’ll show deference to those who abandon the holy covenant. 31Armed forces will arise from his midst, and they’ll desecrate the fortified Sanctuary, abolish the daily sacrifice, and establish the destructive desecration. 32Through flattery he’ll corrupt those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but people who know their God will be strong and take action. 33Insightful peopleh will impart understanding to many, though they’ll fall by sword, by fire, by captivity, and as war booty for a while.i 34When they fall, they’ll be given some relief, but many will join them by pretending to be sympathetic to their cause. 35Some of the insightful will fall so they may be refined, purged, and purified until the time of the end, since it will surely come about.’”
The King Who Calls Himself God
36“‘The king will do as he pleases. He’ll exalt and magnify himself above every god, speaking amazing things against the God of Gods. He’ll succeed until the indignation is completed, because what has been determined must be carried out. 37He’ll recognize neither the gods of his ancestors nor those desired by women—he won’t recognize any god, because he’ll exalt himself above everything. 38He’ll glorify the god of fortresses,j a god whom his ancestors never knew, honoring him with gold, silver, valuable jewels, and treasures. 39He’ll take action against the strongest fortresses. With the help of a foreign god, he’ll recognize those who honor him, making them rule over many, and he’ll parcel out the land for a profit.
40“‘At the time of the end, the southern king will oppose him, and the northern king will overrun him with chariots, cavalry, and many ships. He’ll invade countries, moving swiftly and sweeping through. 41He’ll enter the Beautiful Land, and many will fall, even though these will escape his control: Edom, Moab, and certain Ammonite officials.
42He’ll extend his power over other countries, and even the land of Egypt won’t escape. 43He’ll capture treasures of gold, silver, and all the treasures of Egypt, with the Libyans and Cushitesk at his feet. 44However, reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he’ll march out in great anger, intending to destroy and to desolate many. 45When he pitches his royal pavilions between the seasl facing the mountain of holy Glory, he’ll come to his end, and no one will help him.’”
a 11:4 Lit. out to the four winds of heaven
b 11:18 Or islands
c 11:22 Lit. Nagid; i.e. a senior officer entrusted with dual roles of operational oversight and administrative authority
d 11:25 The Heb. lacks raising
e 11:26 Lit. Those who eat his delicacies
f 11:26 The Heb. lacks in battle
g 11:30 Lit. from Kittim
h 11:33 i.e. believers; cf. v. 35
i 11:33 Lit. for days
j 11:38 Or forces
k 11:43 Or Nubians
l 11:45 i.e. between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea