GOD'S WORD® Translation
1During Darius the Mede's first year as king, I strengthened and defended Michael." 2[The person who looked like a human continued,] "What I am about to tell you is the truth. Three more kings will rule Persia. Then there will be a fourth, who will become much richer than all the others. As he becomes strong through his wealth, he will turn everyone against the kingdom of Greece. 3"Then a warrior-king will come. He will rule a vast empire and do as he pleases. 4But as soon as he is established, his kingdom will be broken into pieces and divided in the directions of the four winds of heaven. The empire will not be given to his descendants. It will no longer be like his empire, since it will be uprooted and given to others.
5"The southern king will be strong, but one of his officers will become stronger than he is and rule a vast empire. 6After a few years the southern and northern kings will make an alliance. The southern king's daughter will go to the northern king to make peace. She won't hold on to her power, and the alliance won't last. She, those who came with her, and the one who fathered and protected her will be given away. 7"At that time a shoot will grow from her roots to replace her father. He will attack the northern army, enter the stronghold of the northern king, fight against them, and be victorious. 8He will take the metal statues of their gods and their precious utensils of silver and gold back to Egypt. He will rule for more years than the northern king. 9He will invade the southern kingdom and return to his own country.
10"Then his sons will prepare for war. They will assemble a large number of forces so that they can overwhelm [the enemy] and pass through its land. They will return and wage war all the way to the stronghold. 11The southern king will be outraged. He will go to fight the northern king, who will raise a large army that will fall into the southern king's hands. 12When that army is captured, the southern king will become conceited. Although he will dominate tens of thousands of people, he will not always be strong. 13"The northern king will return and raise an army larger than the first one. After a few years he will invade with a large army and a lot of equipment.
14In those times many people will rebel against the southern king, and violent men from your own people will rebel in keeping with this vision, but they will be defeated. 15Then the northern king will come, build dirt attack ramps, and capture a fortified city. The southern forces will not be able to withstand him. Even their best troops will not be strong enough. 16The invader will do as he pleases, and no one will be able to withstand his attack. He will rise to power in the beautiful land and it will be completely under his control. 17"Then the northern king will decide to invade with the power of his entire kingdom, and some decent men will invade with him. He will give the southern king his daughter as a wife in order to destroy the southern kingdom. But this will not succeed or help him. 18Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands and capture many of them. But a commander will silence the insults that the northern king makes and even insult him. 19He will turn back toward the fortresses in his own country, but he will stumble, fall, and disappear.
20"Another king will take his place. He will have a cruel official go out in royal splendor. But in a few days the king will be destroyed, although not in anger or war. 21"A contemptible person will take his place. He will not be given royal splendor. He will invade when people are feeling secure, and he will seize the kingdom using false promises. 22He will overwhelm large forces and defeat them, including the prince of the promise. 23After an alliance has been made with him, he will act deceitfully and rise to power with only a few people. 24When people feel secure, he will invade the richest parts of the provinces and do something that none of his predecessors ever did. He will distribute loot and wealth to his followers. He will invent new ways of attacking fortifications. But this will last only for a little while. 25"With a large army he will summon his power and courage against the southern king, who will prepare for war with a large, strong army. But the southern king won't be able to withstand him because of the schemes devised against him. 26People who eat the king's rich food will ruin him. His army will be overwhelmed, and many will die in battle. 27The two kings will both plan to do evil. They will sit at the same table and tell lies. But they will not succeed, because the end must wait until the appointed time. 28The northern king will return to his country with a lot of wealth. He will be determined to fight against the holy promise. He will take action and return to his own country.
29"At the appointed time he will again invade the south, but this time will be different from the first.
30Ships will come from the west to attack him, and he will be discouraged and turn back. Angry at the holy promise, he will return, take action, and favor those who abandon the holy promise. 31His forces will dishonor the holy place (the fortress), take away the daily burnt offering, and set up the disgusting thing that causes destruction. 32With flattery he will corrupt those who abandon the promise. But the people who know their God will be strong and take action. 33"People who are wise will help many to understand. But for some time they will be defeated by swords and flames. They will be captured and looted. 34As they are being defeated, they will get a little help, but many who are not sincere will join them. 35Some of the wise people will be defeated in order to refine, purify, and make them white until the end times. But the appointed time is still to come.
36"The king will do as he pleases. He will highly honor himself above every god. He will say amazing things against the God of gods. He will succeed until God's anger is over, because what has been decided must be done. 37He will have no interest in the gods of his ancestors or desire for women. He will have no interest in any god, because he will make himself greater than anyone else. 38Instead, he will honor the god of fortresses. With gold, silver, precious stones, and other expensive things he will honor a god his ancestors never heard of. 39With the help of a foreign god, he will deal with strong fortresses. He will give high honors to those who acknowledge him, make them rulers over many people, and distribute land for a price.
40"In the end times the southern king will attack him. The northern king will rush at him like a storm with chariots, horses, and many ships. He will invade countries, overwhelm them, and pass through their land. 41He will invade the beautiful land, and tens of thousands will be defeated. But Edom, Moab, and the leaders of the Ammonites will escape from his power. 42He will use his power against many countries. Even Egypt will not escape. 43He will control gold and silver treasures and all Egypt's treasuries. Libya and Sudan will surrender to him. 44But news from the east and the north will frighten him. He will leave very angry to destroy and exterminate many. 45He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at a beautiful holy mountain. When he comes to his end, there will be no one to help him."