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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Daniel 11

Verses 1-10

DANIEL - CHAPTER 11

FROM DARIUS TO THE MAN OF SIN

Verses 1-10:

Verse 1 continues the testimony of the (theophany) heavenly angel Gabriel appearing in the form of a man, Daniel 10:18. He reminded Daniel it was he who stood up in the first year of Darius, king of the Medes, to confirm and strengthen him, Daniel 9:1; Daniel 5:31. That was the year of the Medo conquest of Babylon; Cyrus wielded the real power in the conquest though subordinate to Darius. In that year Darius issued the decree for the restoration of the Jews, for which Daniel was at the time earnestly praying. This angel stood to assist and help, to confirm and strength king Darius in the decision, in behalf of Israel, even as Michael had done, Daniel 10:21; Psalms 94:16.

Verse 2 recounts the angelic direct address to Daniel, in which after having established the fact that he had helped Darius, he was certainly ready to show Daniel "the truth" of Israel’s future. He certified first that three kings should arise in Persia, then a fourth, far richer by his strength than all three of the other Persian kings combined. It is foretold that by his armed power of strength, through his riches, he would stir up all the provinces of Persia against Greece, to incite them to war. This rich king was Zeres, who spent four years marching his army and invading Greece, 483-480 B.C., at which time Persia reached its finest hour. But he was overthrown at Salamis after which Persia is viewed as politically dead, Daniel 2:39; Daniel 7:5. These 3 kings who arose were 1) Ahasuerus, Ezra 4:6; Ezra 2) Artaxeres, Ezra 4:7; Ezra , 3) Darius, called Hystespes, Ezra 4:24.

Verse 3 foretells that following this a "mighty king," a king of great power should "stand up" or arise. He was to establish a rule or jurisdiction of great (extended) dominion, even worldwide. And he would do according to his will, in an extremely forceful manner. This alludes to Alexander the Great who arose to establish the Grecian or third Gentile World Empire, B.C. 332; Daniel 2:39; Daniel 7:6; Daniel 8:5-8; Daniel 8:20-22. See also Daniel 4:35; Daniel 8:4; Ephesians 1:11; Hebrews 2:4; James 1:18.

Verse 4 relates that when this mighty king shall arise, doing after his own will, his own mighty dominion or Empire will break apart, come unglued, and be divided into four provincial parts, Ecclesiastes 4:8; Daniel 7:8; Daniel 8:8; Matthew 12:25. This foretold the four part division of the Grecian Empire upon the death of Alexander the Great, as recounted Daniel 8:8; Daniel 8:22. The phrase "and not to his posterity" means it would not be left to his family to rule. Nor would it continue to exist as a one world empire dominion, as he had conquered and ruled it, Daniel 8:22. It is added that would be plucked up, (uprooted) fragmented, even for smaller and other lesser rulers besides the four primary provinces, a thing secular history verifies.

Verse 5 states the "king of the south" (of Egypt), south of Palestine, shall be strong and "one of his princes," (Syria). But the "king of the south," Egypt shall be stronger than his prince (cohort) Syria, and shall have dominion over him, a great dominion, between which Israel resided and suffered.

Verse 6 certifies with the passing of time they (Egypt and Syria) or their rulers should join themselves together (by material ties). For the king’s daughter of the south (of Egypt) should approach the king of the north for an agreement. But she would not therefore by (material ties) retain ruling power, neither should he or Syria to whom she gave herself up; neither could her father, or those who brought her up for marital union with the king’s house of Syria, retain their arm of ruling power in these times of the cruel Antiochus Epiphanes, 285-247 B.C.

Verse 7 states that out of the branch (offspring) of the woman from Egypt, who made marriage with the king of Syria, one would stand up in his own estate and with armed might attack the king of the north, entering into and destroying his fortress, and prevail in subduing him, the king of Syria to the north of Palestine.

Verse 8 adds that he shall also take captives from the north (Syria) and carry them with their princes or rulers, their gods, precious vessels of silver and gold, and march into Egypt with them as loot of battle. He was also said to continue for more years (reign longer) then the king of Syria had reigned. The reign of this Egyptian king Ptolmey lasted for 46 years. Upon his return to put down a sedition in Egypt it is said that he brought back from Syria 40,000 talents of silver, precious vessels, and 2,400 images that had been carried from Egypt into Persia. It is further stated that he should desist for many years from contending with the king of the north, v. 9.

Verse 9 concludes that this "king of the south," of Egypt, who had gone up and engaged, conquered the king of the north, of Syria, should return to his own country of Egypt with wealth, gotten of great spoil, and with impunity.

Verse 10 states however that his sons (sons of the king of the north) shall be stirred up, "make war," and assemble a multitude of "great forces," armed bands. And one (of them) Antiochus did come and pass through all Israel, headed for conflict with Egypt, like an overflow, a mighty flood through the land. Then he was stirred up and returned to his fortress or defense line, v. 13, a border near Gaza, where Antiochus was vanquished, v. 22, 26, 40; Isaiah 8:8.

Verses 11-20

Verses 11, 12 foretell that the king of the south will be moved (motivated) with choler, grim anger over his loss of Syria that had been wrested from him and with his own kingdom of Egypt imperiled. The king of the south, of Egypt shall come forth and fight with the king of the north of Syria. And he, Antiochus (king of Syria) was to set forth a great multitude to do battle, 70,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry. But this Syrian multitude was conquered by Ptolmey. 10,000 of the army of Antiochus was slain and 4,000 taken captive by the Egyptian army of Ptolmey, as indicated by this prophecy, James 4:1; Romans 7:23; Galatians 5:17; 1 Peter 2:11.

Verse 12 adds that when he (king Ptolmey of Egypt) had taken away or subdued the multitude of Antiochus "his heart was lifted up" with pride, a sure forerunner of a fall, Deuteronomy 8:14; 2 Chronicles 25:19; Proverbs 16:18; Ezekiel 28:2; Daniel 8:25; 1 Peter 5:5. Instead of following his victory over Antiochus by making himself master or ruler over all Syria, Ptolmey made peace with Antiochus and turned his passions to licentiousness, and profaned the temple of God in Jerusalem, by entering the holy place, as related by historian Grotus. It was finally prophesied that the king of the south, Ptolmey of Egypt, would lose his power, gained in battle, by his luxurious and immoral manner of life, Galatians 6:6-7.

Verse 13 prophesies that the "king of the north" would return after certain years and bring an armed array of greater strength than the former one, with greater power and much wealth, to support the huge army marshaled against Egypt. The return was 14 years later.

Verse 14 explains that in those times of warfare many should stand up against Egypt of the south. Philip of Macedonia, some insurrections against Ptolmey in Egypt, and Jewish renegades called "robbers of the people," helped the army of Antiochus of Syria by providing provisions when he came to the garrison against Egypt, as related in the antiquities of Josephus 12:3, 4. These Jews joined Egypt’s enemies to "establish the vision," helping (unknowingly) to fulfill the purpose of God in sending judgment upon Judea. These Jews failed to curry the favor of Antiochus to give them independence and brought instead his fury and defilement on their temple, later, Luke 13:1-5.

Verse 15 foretells that the king of the north, Antiochus the Great, B.C. 198 should come and cast up (erect) a mount, a fortification, and take or seize the most fenced cities. Antiochus from Syria met Scopas the Egyptian General at Paneas, near upper Jordan and defeated him. He retreated to Sidon, a strongly "fenced city," and was there forced to surrender to Antiochus. And neither the arms of the south of Egypt, nor the Jews his chosen people, nor was there any other armed might able to withstand this king of the north.

Verse 16 asserts however, that Antiochus the one who comes against Ptolmey Epiphanes shall invade Judea and make a stand as he wills, there in the glorious land, v. 41, 45; Daniel 8:9; Ezekiel 20:6; Ezekiel 20:15. And by the hand of this northern king, Antiochus, the glorious land will become consumed, in the sense of desolated, or ravaged as a battleground area. And none should stand before him, Joshua 1:5.

Verse 17 explains that this king out of the north, from Syria will set his face like a flint to enter Judea with the strength or backing of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him, 2 Chronicles 20:3. Antiochus is bent to win Egypt to his kingdom control to the extent that he proposes to give the "daughter of women," Cleopatra, to. Philometor an Egyptian king to secure his alignment politically, corrupting or defiling her, hoping to use Egypt’s help to resist Rome. But she favored her husband in Egypt and he did not join with Syria and Antiochus in war against Rome. She thus refused "to stand on his side or be for him," Daniel 9:26.

Verse 18 foretells that after this he, Antiochus, should turn his face to the isles, toward Greece, to take many of the islands in the Aegean, in the war with the Romans, and he caused the Hellespoint. But a Roman prince, for his own behalf, caused the reproach he had been imposing on others to cease, without tarnishing his own reputation.

Verse 19 states that he shall at this point turn back his face toward the fort of his own land, retreating and relinquishing all territory west of the Tarsus range of mountains to Rome, to meet the expenses of the long war in which he had engaged. It is added that he should "stumble and fall and not be found," or be found no more alive, leading battles. While attempting to plunder the temple of Jupiter at Elyamis by night, for gain, he, Antiochus, was slain with his soldiers in an insurrection of the inhabitants, as told by Justinius 32;2.

Verse 20 foretold that there should then stand up or arise in his estate, or to take his place, a "raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom province," a tribute imposed by the Roman Empire that spread eastward upon the death of Antiochus. But in a few days he, Sellucus Philopater, (the son of Antiochus) the "raiser of taxes" was to be destroyed, after a reign of twelve years. This was a "few" in comparison with the 37 years of his father, predecessor, Antiochus. His reign of 12 years ended without a popular outbreak or an open battle, with the rise of Antiochus Epiphanes.

Verses 21-35

ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES THE "LITTLE HORN," OF DANIEL, CH. 8

Verses 21-35:

Verse 21 foretells that in the place of Seleucus, son of Antiochus, there should rise up a vile, vulgar, or immoral person to whom the Syrian people should not give the honor of the kingdom. But it is explained that he should be a cunning or wily person who would gain ascendancy by peaceful means of flattery, or deception, an apparent prototype of the coming "Son of perdition" at the end of the Gentile age, Daniel 8:25. This vile person was Antiochus Epiphanes. ,

Verse 22 adds that "with the arms of a flood," with overrunning devastation, would they (of Egypt) be overflown and be broken before the army of Antiochus Epiphanes, who was the prince of the covenant, attempting to collect the dowery of Celopatra’s marriage to Ptolmey Epiphanes of Egypt. Egypt was then overrun by Antiochus Epiphanes, the vile one, B.C. 171; Daniel 8:10-11; Daniel 8:25.

Verse 23 foretells that after the league made with him, (like the man of sin) Daniel 9:26-27, he would work deceitfully, as the son of the father of lies, John 8:44. Three divisions of this chapter follow regarding this vile personage:

1) Verses 21, 22 describe his rise by peace and deceit;

2) Verses 23-31 relate time from his making the covenant to the taking away of the daily sacrifice and setting up the abomination of desolation; 3) Verses 32-45 his career of blasphemy, declaring that he is to be worshipped as God, to his destruction, 2 Thessalonians 2:4-8. For he is to come up and be strong with a small people, Israel, Daniel 9:25-27.

Verse 24 states that this anti-christ-like king, Antiochus Epiphanes, will seize the hearts of the people by a peaceful entry, safely, even upon the most prosperous places of the province. He will do a thing to gain the hearts of the people that none of his royal forefathers had done. For a time he will divide among all his political constituents the prey, spoil, and riches of successful war campaigns abroad, having successfully seized control of Egypt. It was foretold that he was so proud that he announced publicly his plans by which he would seize control of the Egyptian fortress, "for a time," limited time. Much of this fulfillment may be found both in I Macc. 1st ch., and in other secular history.

Verse 25 foretells that this mighty northern king (Antiochus Epiphanes) shall incite his people-power and courage with a great army against the king of the south, Ptolmey Philometer of Egypt. And the king of the south shall also incite and marshal a great army to do battle against the king of the north, but he will not stand, because nobles of his own kingdom would frame treacherous devices of entrapment against him, like a Judas Iscariot or Benedict Arnold, v. 26; John 13:18; John 17:12.

Verse 26 adds that those who fed of the portion of his meat should destroy him, or lead him to destruction, as described 2 Samuel 4:2; 2 Kings 8:14; 2 Kings 10:6; 2 Kings 10:9; Psalms 41:9; Micah 7:5-6. These turned traitor against Ptolemy Philometer that caused his army to be wiped out like a flood, slain before him. This is preview of the treachery of the anti-christ, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8; Revelation 17:10-11.

Verse 27 states that both of these kings of the north and south Antiochus Epiphanes and Ptolemy Philometer of Syria and Egypt will have their hearts set to do mischief to each other. They were to "speak lies at one table," at Memphis Egypt, lying to each other in negotiations, v. 3, 25. But neither will carry his point, neither will prosper. For the end of the contest between them is for an "appointed time," and purpose, v. 29, 30.

Verse 28 asserts that the great king, Antiochus Epiphanes of Syria, to the north of Israel should return to his land with great riches of spoil gotten in destruction of the cities of Egypt. It is foretold that his covetous heart should be against the covenant or covenant people of Israel and Jerusalem, where he would do exploits upon his way back home to the north, from his battles in Egypt to the south.

As recounted by Macabees, on his way back to Syria he invaded Jerusalem, the city of the covenant people of God, slew 80,000 of her people, took 40,000 Jews to sell as slaves, then entered the Holy of holies and sanctuary to desecrate them. There he blasphemed the place, seized the gold and silver vessels, sacrificed swine on the altar of sacrifice, then sprinkled broth of the swine flesh through the temple, in contempt of the God and worship of the Hebrew people. In all he carried away 1,800 talents of silver and gold away from the temple, back to Syria. See 1 Maccabees 1:19-20; 2 Maccabees 5:14-21. He seems to be a symbol of the covenant­ breaking, self-worshipping antichrist who is yet to come, as described Daniel 2:5-6; Daniel 9:26; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8; Revelation ch. 13.

Verse 29 declares that "at the time appointed," fixed or determined, v. 27, when fulfilled, B.C. 169, he, Antiochus Epiphanes the deceiver, liar, desecrater of God’s sanctuary, would return to Egypt, coming toward the south. But it is certified that this return expedition would be neither successful, as the former or as the latter, v. 42, 43. ,

Verse 30 declares that "the ships of Chittim should come against him," that is Grecian Cypriots from Cyprus, as ambassadors from Rome, arriving in Grecian or Macedonian vessels. Their political pressure is said to grieve or disturb him emotionally for his kingdom’s sake. He will then turn back from Egypt and he will return to Jerusalem with indignation against the restored holy covenant worship of the Jews in Jerusalem where he had raped their sanctuary and desecrated their worship on his former foray against them, v. 28. He did return and entered covenant with many of the apostate Jews whom he led to forsake their covenant worship, and join idol worship by a decree of Antiochus Epiphanes, which he sent through all his kingdom, as told by 1 Maccabees 1:11-15; 1 Maccabees 1:41; 2 Maccabees 6:7. No other heathen king who had conquered the Jews had so viciously demanded that they all give up their worship and turn to worship his national gods, Daniel 4:31-34; Daniel 6:27-28; Ezra 1:2; Ezra 1:4; Ezra 7:12; Nehemiah 2:18. It again was so much like the "son of perdition," 2 Thessalonians 2:4.

Verse 31 explains that "arms" of human bodies, not weapons, but human forces backed by arms, would stand or arise "on his part," on behalf of this Syrian-antichrist despot called Antiochus Epiphanes. They would pollute the sanctuary of strength, as confederates of Antiochus joined by compromising Israelites who would "forsake the covenant," v. 30 and "do wickedly against it," as they turned completely to heathen worship and heathen ways of life. They were to and did "take away the daily sacrifice," of Jewish worship and placed idolatrous worship that led to desolation in its place.

This was done by order of Antiochus Epiphanes as an anti-type of what the "little prince" world ruler shall do after making the covenant for "one week" of years, with the Jews, at the end of this age, then breaking it in the midst of the week, bringing desolation on Israel for her final earthly judgment, for the latter 42 months of that week of years of desolation, Daniel 9:26-27; Daniel 12:7; Daniel 12:11; Revelation 12:5-7; Revelation 12:12; Revelation 12:14; Revelation 13:4-8; Revelation 13:12; Revelation 13:15; See also Revelation 11:7-12; Matthew 24:15.

Verse 32 affirms such as do wickedly against the covenant, or forsook the law of Jewish worship, he would corrupt or seduce, entice into apostacy, by flatteries or promises of special favors, bribes. But the people who do know, have come to know, God personally, in regeneration, "shall be strong," not bow down to the gods of this Antiochus Ephiphanes, a veritable symbol of the antichrist who is to come, after his order in the last days, Daniel 9:26-27; John 5:43.

Verse 33 explains that they "who understand or comprehend among the people (of Israel) shall instruct many," Isaiah 11:3. They will instruct them in their duty to keep the law of God, not apostatize. Yet they (the Jews) shall still fall by the sword, by flame, by captivity and by spoil for many days," even yet, Matthew 10:21; Matthew 20:23; Matthew 24:9; John 16:2; Hebrews 11:35. Such not only happened to them thereafter, before the coming of Christ, but also after their rejection of Him when He came, a thing that is to continue until the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy is fulfilled, at the coming of Christ to the earth in power and great glory, Luke 21; Luke 24; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10.

Verse 34 states that when they "the Jews," should fall, they should be helped for a little time only, cleaving to him, the falsifier, till desolation struck again. So it was immediately thereafter, has been since, and will continue to be in their decreed dispersion among the nations, till the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled, Luke 21:24. Even during the time of peaceful flattery of the first 42 months of the appearing and reign of the antichrist, till he orders that the morning and evening sacrifices of Jewish oblations be taken away, their national peace will be temporary; For yet 42 more months of desolating judgment is decreed for the nation Israel, Daniel 9:27; Daniel 12:7-12.

Verse 35 concludes that some of them of understanding (among the Jews) shall fall, fall for the religious compromise for a union of the Jewish sacrifices with those of heathen idols. Some of these were tried or tested as the three Hebrew children in the furnace, and Daniel in the den of lions, to purge and make them appear white, holy, even to the time of the end. There shall be 144,000 of these Jews who shall believe, become worshipers of the coming Messiah, during the 1st half or 31/2 years of Daniel’s 70th week. They will be sealed against death, while tested and protected for a time, times, and half time, hidden in a place prepared for them in the desert, appointed of the Lord, in Petra, the last half of that 70th week, 1 Peter 1:7; 2 Chronicles 32:31; Luke 22:31; Revelation 7:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Revelation 7:2-4; Revelation 12:12-17.

Verses 36-45

THE "LITTLE HORN" AND THE END TIME

Verses 36-45:

Verse 36 begins a description of the "little-king-horn" of Daniel 7:8 that arises out of or from among the "ten horns," ten royal rulers of the final Gentile one world government in disarray. Out of the confederacy of these Gentile kings, whether exactly 10 in number, or the number ten is used figuratively to represent heathen governments in disarray against God may not be known. But this king is the "little horn" royal ruler that is to rise from among the confederacy.

He will do with strength whatever he wants to do, exalting himself and magnifying himself, causing himself to appear "head and shoulders" above every god! Daniel 7:8; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 12:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation ch. 13.

It is foretold that he will speak blasphemous things, shocking things, against the God (living God) of gods, Revelation 13:5-6; Revelation 13:11-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Daniel 7:8; Daniel 7:25. In this course of behavior he will prosper politically till the indignation, (God’s judgment against the Jews for their sins) is completed or fulfilled. For what is determined or prophetically decreed shall be done, Psalms 119:160; Daniel 8:19; Daniel 9:26-27; Daniel 10:21.

Verse 37 adds that this Devil-incited "little horn," royal "king-god," will not regard or respect the trinitarian God of his fathers, indicating that he is an infidel Jew. Nor will he regard or respect the "desire of women," to be mothers with view to fulfillment of the promised "seed of the woman," Genesis 3:15; Genesis 30:23; Luke 1:25; Luke 1:28; Nor would he regard or respect any god, making a god of himself, worshipping himself, and causing men to do the same, much as did Nebuchadnezzar and Antiochus Epiphanes, symbols of the antichrist, Daniel 3:4-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:4; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 13:12; Revelation 13:15; Isaiah 14:11; Luke 18:14.

Verse 40 foretells that at the end of the "little horn" royal reign, or as it draws near, the king of the south, (the Arabs of Egypt) will push at or approach him in battle. At the same time the king of the north (Turks) will come down against him, like a whirlwind (unexpectedly) as an army of the growing Roman kingdom, with chariots, horsemen, and, many ships, a large fleet, and he (Antiochus Epiphanes or his successors), symbol of the antichrist, shall enter into the countries of Asia, and overrun them, darting right and left in confusion, all the way into Egypt.

Verse 41 states that "he shall enter also into the glorious land, the land of Palestine," and by him this northern Turkish ruler, succeeding Antiochus, many countries shall be conquered. But three countries shall escape his hand, Edom, Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon, all kinsmen of the Arabs who too were offspring of Abraham, Genesis 16:12; Isaiah 11:13; Isaiah 11:15.

Verses 42, 43 add that this Gentile ruler shall also extend his armed power of aggression upon the countries so that Egypt will not escape. For he will gain power over the treasures of gold, silver, and all the precious things of Egypt. And the steps of this final Gentile, heathen, world ruler will also be the Libyans and the Ethiopians, as allies or vassal countries following him, Exodus 11:8; Judges 4:10.

Verse 44 states that tidings, messages, reports from the east and the north shall frustrate him (the little horn ruler). He shall respond with fury, sending forth armies to utterly destroy, wipe out, or liquidate those who dared lead any rebellion against his Empire reign.

Verse 45 foretells that (for self-worship) he will plant, set, or establish the place of his tabernacles of worship (self-worship) between the sea (the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea) and the glorious holy mountain (Mt Moriah) Jerusalem and Mt Zion, Deuteronomy 12:5, where the Jewish Temple is. It is added that, in spite of this, he shall come to his end (just retribution) Psalms 37:38, and none shall help him, as a self-proclaimed god; Revelation 13 th Ch., John 5:43; Isaiah 14:13; Daniel 7:26.

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Daniel 11". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/daniel-11.html. 1985.