Prophesies of Daniel 11, Part 7
It may have appeared a bit convoluted in our last installment, but we managed to cover Daniel 11:15-16 only. Sorry about that! The reality is that there is quite a bit of factual and historical information jam-packed in the entire chapter of Daniel 11 that each verse needs to be carefully looked at and unpacked so that we can grasp the larger picture. I promised last time that I would cover Daniel 11:17 – 20 in this installment because that leads us right up to a man known in antiquity (especially Jewish history) as the man who defiled the Temple and caused the “abomination that desolates” as noted by Jesus in Matthew 24 and also referenced by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2.
Here are the verses we need to discuss in this installment, Daniel 11:17-20.
“17 He will set his face to come with the power of his whole kingdom, bringing with him a proposal of peace which he will put into effect; he will also give him the daughter of women to ruin it. But she will not take a stand for him or be on his side. 18 Then he will turn his face to the coastlands and capture many. But a commander will put a stop to his scorn against him; moreover, he will repay him for his scorn. 19 So he will turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land, but he will stumble and fall and be found no more.
“20 “Then in his place one will arise who will send an oppressor through the Jewel of his kingdom; yet within a few days he will be shattered, though not in anger nor in battle.”
All right, are you ready to find out what all this means? Great, let’s start then.
The first question to answer is who is the “he” mentioned right off the bat in verse 17? We have most recently been highlighting the affairs, battles, and skirmishes of one Antiochus III so it is very safe to conclude the “he” here is that same man. You’ll recall there were a good number of uses of “he” in verse 16 so verse 17 simply continues with it.
Antiochus III is intent on gaining and keeping the power he has just won. You’ll recall from our last installment that Gen. Scopas (from Egypt) surrendered to Antiochus III at Sidon and because of that, Antiochus was welcomed into Jerusalem as something of a hero.
Unfortunately for Antiochus, Rome did not want to have to deal with these types of problems and even though the Roman Empire did not officially begin until approximately 27 BC, elements of Rome were gaining power. The Roman Empire wasn’t built over night. It took time, like any other faction that ultimately became an empire, whether the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian or the Roman. It took time to build momentum and power that allowed them to become ruling empires over large portions of geography in that area of the world.
Rome saw what Antiochus III was doing and wanted it to end. So, under threat from Rome, Antiochus III began to play nice with Egypt by offering the hand of his daughter, Cleopatra, to Egypt’s Ptolemy V. This was how the ancient “game of thrones” was played then.
It seemed that Antiochus III wanted his daughter Cleopatra to remain loyal to him and Syria. This would ultimately give him power over Egypt’s king of the South without having to unsheathe his sword. Unfortunately for Antiochus, Cleopatra made it a habit of siding with her husband, the boy king of Egypt, against her father.
This is essentially what we learn in verse 17 of Daniel 11. Note that again, there are no actual names listed. Daniel needed to wait to learn who those names would be. But in essence, Daniel was not alive during this time, so it was written essentially for those people who would be alive during that time and for us as well. We can look back and know with surety that God is sovereign, that His will is done and there are no questions about it.
Regarding verse 18 of Daniel 11, Dr. Constable has this to say.
“Antiochus III then turned his attention to the Aegean coast and sought to conquer Asia Minor and Greece. He had been contemptuous of Roman authority in Greece and had said the Romans had no business there. Antiochus did not succeed completely because a Roman commander named Claudius Scipio resisted him effectively. He is the commander that fulfilled the prophecy in this verse.” 
For anyone who has ever studied history and specifically Roman history, the name Claudius Scipio should be familiar. Here we see that Antiochus III, whose intended exploits against Roman authority were held somewhat in check by Scipio, has to deal with the defeat. This is what verse 18 is referring to. Antiochus intended to reunite the old Grecian Empire that had existed under Alexander. Unfortunately, Antiochus did not have the same ability that Alexander had. In many ways, Alexander was fearless and was only stopped from expansion by his untimely death. Had God allowed him to live, there is no telling how large the Grecian Empire might have become. However, God directs the affairs (and empires) of men to suit Himself.
In verse 19, we learn that while Antiochus was held at bay by Scipio, he (Antiochus) turned his attention to strengthening and fortifying his own small empire with Antioch as his capitol. It was there he died in 187 BC, just a year after being held in check by Scipio.
Once Antiochus III died, his eldest son – Seleucus IV – took the reigns. Dr. Constable notes that he wound up taxing his subjects so mightily in an effort to placate the growing power of Rome that his own Jewish tax collector wound up poisoning him (Heliodorus; 2 Macc. 3:7). Heliodorus is likely the “oppressor” mentioned in verse 20 who was sent by Selecus. He oppressed the Israelites through extensive taxation, but being Jewish himself, Heliodorus ultimately turned on the very king who sent him throughout Israel to “oppress” (collect taxes).
Murdering the king had its dire consequences though. As Constable notes, “This assassination set the stage for the terrible persecutions of the Jews that followed. Thus Seleucus IV did not die because of mob violence, as his father had, or in battle, but from poison, as this verse predicted.” 
Next time, we will begin looking closely at the verses that introduce us to the notorious Antiochus Epiphanes IV, an actual type of Antichrist!
 Constable’s Notes on Daniel, p. 134
Entry filed under: israel, Judaism, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology. Tags: antiochus III, daniel 11, king of the north, king of the south, prophecies of daniel 11, scipio.