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Dare to Be a Daniel (Part 95)

When in High School, history was very interesting but the exams were always confusing. Instead of the examiner wanting the historical story, as per the text book, they always wanted dates and names. That little issue gave me a dislike for history until I got to Bible School … because there, although dates and names were important, the historical story and it’s meaning, purpose and outworking were more important. My point is that it might seem boring to do history, but history is necessary and important, especially as we pursue the Divine Messenger’s prophetic Words before us. In verses 5 to 20 we find wars happening between the kings of the north and south, both wanting domination over the Holy Land.

Da 11:5 “The king of the South will become strong, but one of his commanders will become even stronger than he and will rule his own kingdom with great power.”

1) The king of the South. In verse 5, “South” refers to Egypt and not to the Negev, south of Palestine as it would normally do. This is confirmed in verse 8:

Da 11:8 “He will also seize their gods, their metal images and their valuable articles of silver and gold and carry them off to Egypt. For some years he will leave the king of the North alone.”

So verse 5 refers to the king of Egypt who is Ptolemy Soter. He came from Macedonian and was an extremely capable general who served under Alexander. After the latter’s death, he “obtained” Egypt and ruled there as a satrap. This was an appointed position. One of Ptolemy’s military commanders, Seleucus, became satrap in Babylon. He lost this position, went to Ptolemy who made him a general who soon retook Babylon. The Seleucid era is reckoned from this time (312 BC). It is a historical fact that the dominion of the Seleucids was far greater than that of the Ptolemies. It is said to have stretched from Phrygia in the west to India (Indus) in the east.

2) Superpowers develop alliances. This is true today … the USA has her allies (alliances) as does Russia have her allies (alliances), so it was true in those years. Generally alliances are for protection and trade but at times the stronger and more dominant ally could have ulterior motives.

Da 11:6 “After some years, they will become allies. The daughter of the king of the South will go to the king of the North to make an alliance, but she will not retain her power, and he and his power will not last. In those days she will be handed over, together with her royal escort and her father and the one who supported her.”

Years pass and then an alliance is formed, not between Ptolemy Lagi and Seleucus Nicator of verse 5. Most likely it was between Ptolemy Philadelphus and Antiochus II. Ptolemy’s daughter Berenice goes to Antiochus as a wife to stabilize the alliance. Antiochus married her although he was married to Laodice who gave him two sons, Seleucus Callinicus and Antiochus. Once Bernice’s father died two years later, Antiochus divorced her. Laodice feared Antiochus because he was mentally unstable. She had him poisoned and got her son Seleucus to murder both Bernice and her infant to secure the throne for himself.

3) Revenge can be deadly!

Da 11:7 “One from her family line will arise to take her place. He will attack the forces of the king of the North and enter his fortress; he will fight against them and be victorious.”

One from Bernice’s family line is her brother, Ptolemy Euergetes III. He somehow infiltrates the army of the North, creates havoc and puts Laodice to death, avenging his sister’s blood.

4) The reward of success.

Da 11:8 “He will also seize their gods, their metal images and their valuable articles of silver and gold and carry them off to Egypt. For some years he will leave the king of the North alone.”

Ptolemy Euergetes III had enormous military success. Although pagan, we ought to remember that those so called “gods, images and articles” were associated with the protection of the land. Under Ptolemy Euergetes III, Egypt gained military victory meaning that these gods did not protect the land and were hauled off to Egypt, either to be used as religious relics or for their valuable materials. The Egyptians were so happy they named him … Euergetes, which means well doer.

5) Revenge could mean great loss.

Da 11:9 “Then the king of the North will invade the realm of the king of the South but will retreat to his own country.”

This king of the North was Seleucus Callinius. After two years he took his military machine and marched against Ptolemy (round about 240 BC) and suffered a humiliating, complete defeat.

6) Family revenge.

Da 11:10 “His sons will prepare for war and assemble a great army, which will sweep on like an irresistible flood and carry the battle as far as his fortress.”

Seleucus Callinius’ sons were Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus the Great. The planning might have been done by both but Seleucus Ceraunus was killed whilst at war in Asia Minor with only Antiochus the Great going with his awe inspiring military machine to battle the king of the South.

7) The anger and pride of the king of the South.

Da 11:11 “Then the king of the South will march out in a rage and fight against the king of the North, who will raise a large army, but it will be defeated.”

This is the world of war … losses are never forgotten. As Antiochus the Great goes to fight Ptolemy Philopater. The latter is angered, raises up his military and defeats Antiochus.

Da 11:12 “When the army is carried off, the king of the South will be filled with pride and will slaughter many thousands, yet he will not remain triumphant.”

Ptolemy Philopater claims the spoils which in this case is the military. The battle was at Raphia. He slaughtered many … but never pursued the gains of war and retired to an easy lifestyle. (Remember that although I write of these matters happening in the past … it is our past. Being prophecy, it was yet to come to be!) Although we have not travelled far in the Word of Prophecy, we have travelled far in time, covering various epochs of history. If you have held out and are still with me, don’t you marvel at how this Divine Messenger speaks to Daniel about the distant future and how we today can look backwards at fulfilled and accomplished history and find how accurate the Biblical record is? Why is this? Because not only is this Divine Messenger God … the complete Biblical record as we have it is the Word of God. He who was, is and is to come, is omniscient and when He speaks, He speaks truth that is measurable. Today, His truth is measured against history and found accurate. All His Words are measurable … mostly for us on this side of Calvary they are measured by faith. Do you believe God’s Word?

Lord thank You for Your Word. Amen.

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