Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.CHAPTER 11 The Wars of the Ptolemies and Seleucidae Predicted The Coming Events of the End
1. The wars of the Ptolemies and Seleucidae (Daniel 11:1-35)
2. The time of the end and the man of sin (Daniel 11:36-45)
Daniel 11:1-35. Here we have history pre-written and the greater part of this chapter (Daniel 11:2-35) is fulfilled historically. So accurate are these predictions and their subsequent fulfillment that the enemies of “the Scripture of truth” have declared that it could never have been written by Daniel several hundred years before these persons came into existence and fought their battles. The pagan Porphyry in the third century in his “Treatise against Christians” bitterly attacked the belief that Daniel wrote these predictions. He argued that all was written after the events had taken place. The same arguments are used by the critics. Such is this most subtle infidelity that it can make use of the statements of a poor heathen in opposition to the divine revelation.
The prophecies given here were minutely fulfilled during the years 301 B.C., to 168 B.C. History verifies everything. The history covers a good part of the Persian and Graeco-Macedonian Empires, but mostly the wars of the Ptolemies and Seleucidae. Artaxerxes, Darius, Alexander the Great, Ptolemy Lagris, the King of the South, Ptolemy Euergetes, Seleucus Calinicus, Ptolemy Philopater, Antiochus Epiphanes, even the Roman fleet (the ships of Chittim), all enter into this prophecy. A detailed exposition of the prophecy and its fulfillment would fill many pages.
Before we pass on we desire to say again that all in these verses we have briefly followed has been historically fulfilled. We point out a mistake in which some have fallen. In Daniel 11:31 we read of “the abomination that maketh desolate.” Our Lord in His Olivet discourse Matthew 24:15 said: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth let him understand).” Some believe that when our Lord spoke these words he referred to Daniel 11:31, and that this is the abomination of desolation. This is not quite correct. The abomination that maketh desolate of verse 31 is past and happened in the days of the atrocities committed by Antiochus Epiphanes. The abomination of desolation to which our Lord refers is mentioned in Daniel 12:11, and it points, as we shall find later, to the abomination set up by the Antichrist, the second beast, in the middle of the week. The typical meaning of Antiochus Epiphanes and his crimes in the land of Judea and against Jerusalem we have already learned in connection with chapter 8.
Daniel 11:36-45. The time of the end is mentioned in verse 35. What is to befall Daniel’s people in the latter days as Daniel was told in Daniel 10:14 is now revealed. Between Daniel 11:35 and Daniel 11:36 we must put a long and unreckoned period of time. Antiochus Epiphanes and the victorious Maccabees end the historical fulfillment of the predictions of the great prophecies in the first part of this chapter, and since then over 2,000 years have come and gone and the fulfillment of Daniel 11:36-45 have not yet been. First we read of a wilful king. Who is this king so fully pictured in Daniel 11:36-45?
Many expositors of Daniel apply this passage to Antiochus Epiphanes because they see not the important interval which exists between Daniel 11:35 and Daniel 11:36. However, a closer examination of the description of this king shows that he cannot be Antiochus. He is another person altogether, and as we shall see later, will be a Jew and assume kingly honors in the midst of the Jewish people. Antiochus was a Gentile. Others again identify this King with the first beast in Revelation 13:1-18, and say that the head of the revived Roman Empire, one like Napoleon the First is meant, while others see here a reference to the pope in Rome. And whether the head of the Roman power, or the pope, or perhaps Mohammed, the term “Antichrist” is freely applied to each. Those who see the papacy here and the Romish corruption make some startling applications which are extremely fanciful.
The wilful king is the Antichrist. The Jewish people rejected their King, the Messiah, who came to His own, the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord told the Jews: “I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” John 5:43. This other one has not yet come. We have his photograph here. He appears in Israel’s land in the time of the end as a counterfeit Messiah and takes also the place of king in their midst. This wilful king, the personal Antichrist who deceives the apostate mass of the Jewish people, is repeatedly mentioned in the Old Testament prophetic Word. Isaiah speaks of him and his end Isaiah 30:33; Isaiah 57:9. Zechariah calls him “the idol shepherd” Zechariah 11:15-17. He is repeatedly mentioned in the Psalms as “the wicked man”--”the man of the earth”-- “the bloody and deceitful man.” In the book of Revelation he appears as the second beast out of the land (Palestine) Revelation 13:11-18. The two horns like a lamb as he is described there show clearly that he imitates Christ. He has the spirit of the dragon and appears as a religious leader, for this reason he is also called “the false prophet” in the book of Revelation (Revelation 16:13; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10).
In the New Testament he is called in the writings of John “the Antichrist”. (See 1John 2:18-25; 1John 4:3;2John 1:7.)Another great prophecy of the same person is found in 2Thessalonians 2:1-17, where he is called “the man of sin, the son of perdition.” The early Church believed that this evil person will be a real man, a Jew, and be energized by Satan. That he is the papal system or something else was invented later.
In Daniel 11:40-45 we have a prophecy of the wars and conflicts during the time of the end. The false king, Israel’s false Messiah, the Antichrist, plays an important part in these conflicts. Then there are the kings of the south and of the north. The king of the south comes out of Egypt. His antagonist is the king of the north. The king of the south will be overthrown by the powerful king of the North, the same who is typified by the Antiochus Epiphanes. (Read about this invasion in Joel 2:1-32and Zechariah 14:1-21)
While the king of the north and his proud hosts are thus overthrown by the army of the Lord, what becomes of the wilful king, the Antichrist in the city? The king of the north cannot touch him. But the Lord Himself will deal with that wicked one. “Whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming” 2Thessalonians 2:8. Thus ends the great conflict of the time of the end. The eternal abode of the satanic instruments of the time of the end, the beast, that coming prince, the Antichrist and the king of the north will be the lake of fire.