November 3, 2014 by Chris French
I figured the best way to explain all this so I could understand it would be to write it down. There’s so much history, and so much of it that I’m not familiar with, that I have trouble keeping all the characters straight. That being said, Daniel 11 is THE most detailed and specific prophecy in the entire Bible! It’s the one prophecy we’re specifically told that Satan tried to prevent.
In this last lesson on Daniel we’ll talk about what the prophecy means and exactly what God was talking about in this chapter. During class we’ll talk about what the church today can take away from Daniel 11-12.
I’ll release the explanation for the chapter a couple of verses at a time over the next couple of days. If you’d like a more detailed discussion I’ve been using Michael Whitworth’s The Derision of Heaven for almost all the material I’ve presented. You can download it/buy it here. Here’s the first set!
11 “And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him.
2 “And now I will show you the truth. Behold, three more kings shall arise in Persia, and a fourth shall be far richer than all of them. And when he has become strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece.
Daniel has already dated his writing so after Darius (Cyrus) 4 more kings will rule, one being very wealthy. Cambyses technically ruled for 7 years in Persia after Cyrus, then his brother, Bariya, ruled for less than a year. Darius I started a new dynasty in 522 b.c. These 3 were the 3 kings Daniel referred to. The very wealthy one is Xerxes I, yep the guy from Esther. He definitely “stirred up” Greece leading a massive incursion, but was slowed by the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae and stopped at Salamis, Plataea and Mycale. The remaining Persian kings are skipped over, but Persia and Greece were at odds until Alexander the Great combined the empires.
3 Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion and do as he wills. 4 And as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity, nor according to the authority with which he ruled, for his kingdom shall be plucked up and go to others besides these.
This is an obvious reference to Alexander the Great. He did whatever he wanted, but his empire was broken and given to four men who were not his heirs and didn’t have his power.
5 “Then the king of the south shall be strong, but one of his princes shall be stronger than he and shall rule, and his authority shall be a great authority.
“The king of the south” is a reference to Ptolmey I who took over rule of Egypt after Alexander’s death. Ptolmey’s “prince” was actually another one of Alexander’s generals, Seleucus. Seleucus ruled Syria (the king of the north), but was overthrown by Antigonus I, who was trying to put Alexander’s empire back together under his own control. Seleucus ran to Ptolmey in Egypt for safety and became one of his rulers around Egypt. Eventually Alexander’s other generals will form an alliance long enough to unseat Antigonus from Asia and Seleucus will inherit a large portion of Antigonus’ former empire, including Babylon, thus making him “stronger” than Ptolmey.