There is no break between chapter 10 and 11. The conversation between Gabriel and Daniel continues. Now we will see what the vision is all about.
Verse 1 – “Also in the first year of Darius the Mede, I, even I, stood up to confirm and strengthen him.
Although Gabriel visited Daniel “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia,” he revealed to Daniel that he had stood up to strengthen and protect Daniel since the first year of Darius.
Verse 2 – “And now I will tell you the truth: Behold, three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth shall be far richer than them all; by his strength, through his riches, shall stir up all against the realm of Greece.
The word “yet” in Hebrew means besides, still, henceforth. So there is yet three kings after Cyrus. These were Cambyses the son of Cyrus (530-522 B.C.). False Smerdis an impostor who impersonated the real Smerdis to obtain the throne. The real Smerdis was killed by his brother Cambyses, (522 B.C.), Darius Hystasphes or Darius 1 who married a daughter of Cyrus (522-486 B.C.)
This was Xer or Ahasuerus, which was richer than all before him, see Esther 1:4-7.
Verse 3 – “Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
Verse 4 – And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not among his posterity nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be uprooted, even for others besides these.
Alexander the Great finally defeated the Persians in 331 B.C. He conquered all the way to the border of India and south to Egypt. His empire was far greater than Persia had been. On his way back to Babylon he came across a funeral of a man, Hephaestion, who was dear to him. In showing respect to the dead , it was customary to drink to intoxication. After two days a fever was in his system and grew worse and in a few days he died. He divided the kingdom among his four generals before he died.
Verse 5 – “Then the king of the South shall become strong, as well as one of his princes; and he shall gain power over him and have dominion. His dominion shall be a great dominion.
The king of the South-Ptolemy Soter, who had Egypt, Palestine and part of Syria in the south. One of the princes – Seleucus Nicator who now has three-quarters of Alexander’s kingdom.
Verse 6 – “And at the end of some years they shall join forces, for the daughter of the king of the South shall go to the king of the North to make agreement; but she shall not retain the power of her authority, and neither he nor his authority shall stand; but she shall be given up, with those who brought her, and with him who begot her, and with him who strengthened her in those times.
Ptolemy II of Egypt made an alliance with the king of the North, Antiochus, by giving his daughter, Bernice, in marriage. So Antiochus divorced his wife and married Bernice. Bernice had a son, but when her father died Antiochus took back his first wife, Laodice, and she had Bernice murdered. Instead of the kingdoms being united, Ptolemy III took the throne when his father died and declared war to avenge his sister’s death.
Verse 7 – “But from a branch of her roots one shall arise in his place, who shall come with an army, enter the fortress of the king of the North, and deal with them and prevail.
Bernice’s brother, Ptolemy III Euergetes, marches toward the North with a mighty army and succeeds.
Verse 8 – “And he shall also carry their gods captive to Egypt, with their princes and their precious articles of silver and gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the North.
Verse 9 – “Then the king of the North shall come to the kingdom of the king of the South, but shall return to his own land.
Verse 10 – “However his sons shall stir up strife, and assemble a multitude of great forces; and one shall certainly come and overwhelm and pass through; then he shall return to his fortress and stir up strife.
The sons of the North, Seleucus Callinecus’ sons, Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus Magnus. These two sons gathered an army to avenge their land being taken by the king of the South avenging his sister.
Verse 11 – “And the king of the South shall be moved with rage, and go out and fight with him, with the king of the North, who shall muster a great multitude, but the multitude shall be given into the hand of his enemy.
Verse 12 – “When he has taken away the multitude, his heart will be lifted up; and he will cast down tens of thousands, but he will not prevail.
Verse 13 – “For the king of the North will return and muster a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come at the end of some years with a great army and much equipment.
The king of the North may have been Antiochus III the Great. He defeated many cities in Egypt and established himself in Israel. He was later defeated by the Romans at Magnesia.
Verse 14 – “And in those times many shall rise up against the king of the South; also certain violent men of your people shall exalt themselves in fulfillment of the vision, but they shall fall.
Verse 15 – “So the king of the North shall come and build a siege mound, and take a fortified city; and the forces of the South shall not withstand him. Even his choice troops shall have no strength to resist.
Verse 16 – “But he who comes against him shall do according to his own will , and no one shall stand against him. He shall stand in the Glorious Land with destruction in his power.
Verse 17 – “He shall also set his face to enter with strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do. And he shall give him a daughter of women to destroy it; but she shall not stand with him, or be for him.
Antiochus III would make Israel a possession of the Selecuid kingdom in 198 B.C., and force a peace agreement on the Plolemies. Antiochus III would give his daughter Cleopatra to Ptolemy V as a wife, hoping to control the Ptolemaic kingdom through her. This attempt failed because Cleopatra helped her husband instead of her father.
Verse 18 – After this he shall turn his face to the coast-lands, and shall take many. But a ruler shall bring the reproach against them to an end; and with the reproach removed, he shall turn back on him.
Verse 19 – “Then he shall turn his face toward the fortress of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
Antiochus III would then turn his attention to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea but would be defeated by the Roman commander Lucius Cornelius Scipio in 191 B.C. And then Magnesia in 190 B.C. this would cause Antiochus III to focus on his own country, being killed by a mob defending the temple Zeus in Elymais.
Verse 20 – “There shall arise in his place one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom; but within a few days he shall be destroyed, but not in anger or battle.
The king who would arise in his place is Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175 B.C.), who sent his tax collector, Heliodorus, to collect money to pay Rome. Seleucus IV was killed by poison from his tax collector.
Verse 21 – “And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue.
Verse 22 – “With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant.
Here is where it might get confusing because Gabriel may be talking about two different time periods. Some references say the prince of the covenant is the high Priest Onias III, who was assassinated by Menelaus in 170 B.c. Others relate this event and prince of the covenant to the Messiah in 26 A.D. I think both are right because of the following verses.
Verse 23 – “And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people.
Verse 24 – “He shall enter peaceable, even into the richest places of providence; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers; he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time.
Flash back to Antiochus IV would increase in power by shearing the wealth with all his followers. Also, Rome protected all their provinces by showing kindness and leniency.
Verse 25 – “He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army. And the king of the South shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand, for they shall devise plans against him.
Verse 26 – “Yes, those who eat of the portion of his delicacies shall destroy him; his army shall fall down slain.
Verse 27 – “Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time.
These two treacherous kings were probably Antiochus IV of Syria and Ptolemy VI of Egypt. Antiochus IV (King of the north), having plundered Egypt, would return to his land with his heart set against the holy covenant. On his way home, he would attack Israel, kill 80,000 Jewish men, women, and children and plunder the holy temple (169 B.C.).
Verse 28 – “While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage and return to his own land.
Also another time in the future, under Vespasian, in 66 A.D., the Romans invaded Judea, and took the cities of Galilee, Chorazin, Bethesda, and Capernaum, where Christ had been rejected. They destroyed the inhabitants, and left nothing but ruin and desolation. The only reason why some Jews could escape was because Vespasian was called back to Rome. On his returning to Rome he was made emperor and his son Titus took up the work of subjugating Jerusalem. Titus came upon Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and in five months destroyed it and the temple. 110,000 Jews perished and 97,000 were taken captive. So these verses could refer to either times and events.
Verse 29 – “At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter.
Verse 30 – “For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.
Verse 31 – And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.
Antiochus IV would launch another attack against Egypt, but this time ships Cyprus, the Roman fleet led by Gaitus Popilius would force him to retreat. On his way back he plundered Jerusalem. He stopped the daily sacrifices and slaughtered pigs on the altar erected in honor of Zeus. This happened in 168-167 B.C.
Verse 32 – “Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
Verse 33 – “And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering.
Verse 34 – “Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue.
The Maccabees would be this little help, but would experience much suffering in the battle with Antiochus IV. In the end , the Maccabees would defeat Antiochus, rededicate the holy temple in Jerusalem and establish the festival of Chanukah, which Jewish people still celebrate today.
Verse 35 – “And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purge them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.
Verse 36 – “Then the king shall do according to his own will; he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, an shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.
Now the vision goes to the end times, when people with understanding, believers, will be persecuted for their belief in God. They will be beheaded because they did not worship the best. The Antichrist will magnify himself and speak great blasphemies against the true God of Israel. He will claim to be God.
Verse 37 – “He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor desire women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above them all.
In other words: The Antichrist, beast, won’t recognize any deity or religions of all, not even pagan ones, instead, will proclaim himself to be the ultimate power.
Verse 38 – “But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things.
Verse 39 – “Thus he shall act against the strong fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.
Verse 40 – “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.
The Antichrist, from this point through the end of Daniel, is the main focus. The Northern nations and the nations of the South will attack the Antichrist, but he will go through them like a flood and not be defeated.
Verse 41 – “He shall also enter the Glorious Land (Israel), and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand; Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon.
Verse 42 – “He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
Verse 43 – “He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.
Verse 44 – “But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.
Verse 45 – “And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.
The Antichrist will establish his military between the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Jerusalem. There the nations of the earth will gather (Zechariah 14:2) at Mount Megiddo to begin the campaign of Armageddon (Revelation 16:13-16). At that time, when all nations have come against Israel, they (Israel) call on the Messiah, Jesus. He will deliver them and the Antichrist meets his end.
Jesus told His people in Matthew 23:39, “For I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” There will come a day, at the end times, when all of Israel will recognize the Messiah as Jesus and call on Him, and that defines His second coming!