“A GREAT WARFARE”
Note the late date of this prophecy (Daniel 10:1), and the different rendering of a phrase in the Revised Version, where “even a great warfare” is substituted for “the time appointed was long.” As the unveiling of the lesson will show, this phrase is an appropriate title for it.
Note the physical and spiritual preparation of the prophet for the revelation that follows (Daniel 10:2-4), a condition into which he had doubtless brought himself by prayer. Had he been seeking of heaven an explanation of the previous mysteries especially that of the ram and the he-goat? This seems probable, because what follows traverses so much of the ground of chapter 8.
Daniel 10:5-9 bear so strong a resemblance to the description of the Son of Man in Revelation 1:12-17 as to suggest that it also is a Christophany, or manifestation of the Second Person of the Trinity. But this does not necessarily mean that it is He who touches and speaks to the prophet in the verses succeeding.
MYSTERIES OF SATAN’S KINGDOM
Daniel 10:10-14 are full of mystery, yet note first, the appreciation of Daniel in the heavenly courts (Daniel 10:11); and then the testimony to the potency of prayer (Daniel 10:12). But who is “the prince of the Kingdom of Persia” (Daniel 10:13)? Doubtless a spirit of eminence in the kingdom of darkness, to whose control Satan has committed the earthly affairs of Persia (compare
Ephesians 4:12). This interpretation seems confirmed by the reference to Michael, elsewhere known as the archangel, and who in the kingdom of light is the special guardian of Israel (Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1; Jude 1:9 : Revelation 12:7). What mighty power must Satan possess as judged by this verse, but what a relief to know that there is One stronger than he! Note in the conclusion of this section that the revelation now to be given chiefly concerns what we identify as the end period, the last seven years (Daniel 10:14).
INTERVENING EVENTS (Daniel 11:1-35)
Passing over the effect on the prophet, we come to the revelation of what shall take place between his time and that of Antiochus Epiphanes, with whom we were made acquainted in an earlier chapter.
The three kings of Daniel 11:2 were Cyrus, Ahasuerus (Cambyses) and Darius Hystaspes). The fourth king was Xerxes (see Ezra 4:5-24). The “mighty king” (Daniel 11:3) was Alexander the Great, while the next verse tells once more of the division of his kingdom at his death among his four generals.
Two of these kingdoms of the four now come into prominence, Egypt and Syria (Daniel 11:5-6), as those most closely related to Israel in their subsequent history. The “king’s daughter” (Daniel 11:6) was Bernice, offspring of Ptolemy 2, who married Antiochus Theous of Syria, but was subsequently poisoned by him. Daniel 11:7-9 refer to her brother Ptolemy Energetes of Egypt. Daniel 11:9 is a mistranslation, and refers to the king of the north (RV), whose sons (Daniel 11:10) were nevertheless overcome by the Egyptian king, Ptolemy Philopater (Daniel 11:11), who became weakened at length through licentious living (Daniel 11:12).
We have now reached the period of about 200 B.C., when Syria, after many vicissitudes, turns the tide of battle in her favor under the leadership of one known as Antiochus the Great. He entered the Holy Land in the course of his campaign (Daniel 11:13-16), treating it considerately, however, as the Jews had been his allies. The last part of Daniel 11:16 is an incorrect rendering and should be compared with the Revised Version. Later he made another effort to get possession of Egypt, the working out of his plan including a treaty engagement, and the espousal of his daughter, Cleopatra, to the Egyptian king, but the scheme did not succeed (Daniel 11:17). Why the Cleopatra in this case is called “the daughter of the women” is not clear, but some suppose it to be because she was but a child and under the tutelage of both her mother and grandmother. Daniel 11:18-19 speak of a contest with the Romans into which he unsuccessfully entered, and of his subsequent death.
The brief reign of Seleucus Philopater (187-176 B.C.) is depicted in Daniel 11:20, and then we come upon Antiochus Epiphanes, whose story continues through Daniel 11:35. “Vile” is “contemptible” in the Revised Version. This man was a younger son of Antiochus the Great, to whom the kingdom did not by right belong, but who stole the hearts of the people as Absalom did from David. He is the “little horn” of chapter 8, and as we have seen, forerunner of the greater “little horn” of the end period. Of his atrocities against Israel and the holy city and temple we read in the books of the Maccabees.
“The ships of Chittim” (Daniel 11:30) are a Roman fleet whose power put an end to his victories in Egypt. Returning north, angry in his defeat, he committed those base things against Judea of which mention has been made and which are foretold again in Daniel 11:30-35. Apostate Jews sympathized with and aided him, as their successors will do in the case of his successor at the end period; but there were faithful ones under the lead of the Maccabees who valiantly resisted him (Daniel 11:32). It was a period of testing of Israel, out of whose fires they came forth much purified.
1. When was the prophecy revealed to Daniel?
2. How was he prepared for it?
3. What illustration of the law of recurrence is seen in this lesson?
4. Who presumably is the “man” referred to in Daniel 11:5?
5. Who is meant by “the prince of Persia”?
6. What relation does Michael bear to Israel?
7. Name the four kings of Persia referred to in Daniel 12:2.
8. What does this lesson reveal about Antiochus Epiphanes?
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Gray, James. "Commentary on Daniel 10". The James Gray's Concise Bible Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany