Before us, as we work our way towards the end of the Book of Daniel, we must never forget that most of these last two chapters are prophecy. More than that, it is not prophecy from God through a prophet! It is prophecy from God directly by God! This is futuristic history unfolding before Daniel in the present. As we saw yesterday, the content of the prophecy can be measured accurately against history as it unfolded in the future. This is why we can trust the Bible. God speaks truth, each time, every time and all of the time. Another thing to remember is that although the Divine Messenger speaks prophecy into the future, these Daily Notes are written in the present, looking backwards into the unfolding of this prophecy.
1) Success breeds boldness.
Da 11:13 “For the king of the North will muster another army, larger than the first; and after several years, he will advance with a huge army fully equipped.”
Because of Antiochus’ military successes in the East, he build a huge military force, boosting his ego sufficiently to battle against Egypt again. This was thirteen years after his heavy defeat at Raphia. By this time Ptolemy Philopater was dead and his son was only four years old.
2) Again Alliances arise.
Da 11:14 “In those times many will rise against the king of the South. The violent men among your own people will rebel in fulfillment of the vision, but without success.”
The “many” who will rise against the king of the South seems to be Antiochus and his alliances with Philip of Macedon and the rebels within Egypt who were against the regime. Many have read all sorts of content here but let’s leave the text there.
3) Clever schemes do not always have success. Antiochus takes his alliances against the king of the South.
Da 11:15 “Then the king of the North will come and build up siege ramps and will capture a fortified city. The forces of the South will be powerless to resist; even their best troops will not have the strength to stand.”
Egypt were far too weak to defend herself against Antiochus’ military might. Even though Egypt sent her most able warrior general, Scopas, to take back the territory, Antiochus cleverly boxed him in and forced him to surrender. This meant:
Da 11:16 “The invader will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy it.”
Here we see Antiochus at the height of his victories, fully in the grip of pride and arrogance … pursuing his wicked intent, bulldozing as he pleases, on his way to ruin. Suddenly as he marches on we find him in “the Beautiful Land”! Now he is in the heart of God’s territory. Antiochus takes his victory to a new level by devising a plan that will bind the kingdom of the South to him.
Da 11:17 “He will determine to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will make an alliance with the king of the South. And he will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom, but his plans will not succeed or help him.”
Antiochus now gives his daughter Cleopatra to Ptolemy in marriage. Ptolemy was only seven when this arrangement was made. The wedding was only consummated 5 years later when he was 12. Antiochus’ intent through this marriage was to destroy his enemy completely. For him it does not work because his daughter Cleopatra tended to side with her young husband (Ptolemy) all the time against her father. His plans do not succeed! He must have become terribly frustrated! His evil schemes failed because his daughter sided with the husband he gave her!
4) A hurting tyrant tries to recover but finds total ruin.
Da 11:18 “Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands and will take many of them, but a commander will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back upon him.”
To regain his image Antiochus captures Islands and Coastlands along the Mediterranean Sea … probably around modern Turkey. During this period, the commander, Lucius Scipio Asiaticus brought Antiochus to his knees. It seems as though this is related to his bad dealings with the Romans. His defeat was extremely humiliating. It seems that all he could do now was:
Da 11:19 “After this, he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and fall, to be seen no more.”
Antiochus’ defeat is so huge that all he could do was to return home and try to look after his own territory. This defeat was so humiliating and degrading as he was exposed to such public disgrace of an international scale. History tells us he was defeated by the Romans.
5) The sudden death of a replacement king.
Da 11:20 “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. In a few years, however, he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle.”
Antiochus is replaced by king Seleucus Philopator. He appoints a tax collector to travel the land, collecting revenue for the benefit of the country. His name is Heliodorus. He forced taxation, even seizing funds from the temple treasury. History tells us that not too long afterwards, Seleucus was suddenly removed in a mysterious manner, quite likely through been poisoned by Heliodolrus. Before moving forward in the prophecy, we need to once again stop and reflect upon how accurately history reveals the veracity of God’s Word. Friend, you can test God’s Word as much as you like to prove it wrong, filled with errors and contradictions, but you will never ever, not even on one count be able to prove God’s Word lacking. As said before, God sees into all human history from start to finish in one span shot. What He prophesies in this passage, although futuristic came to be just as He said it would. Now, how do you feel about the Word of God? Do you trust it completely? Are you prepared to place the eternal destiny of your soul upon this Word, the Bible? If there is one thing we have seen in the Divine Messengers Prophetic Words, it is that what He says comes to pass. In other words, it is trustworthy. Paul reminds young Timothy of just how trustworthy the Bible’s Message is:
1Ti 1:15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners
1Ti 4:9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10 (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.
Are you prepared to stake your soul and its eternal comfort upon this trustworthy Word?
Father in Heaven, thank You that we are able to trust Your Word. Thank You that no one is able to prove Your Word wrong and unable to save the soul eager to love and follow Jesus to heaven. Amen.