Prophesies of Daniel 11, Part 8
In our last installment – Part 7 – we managed to get all the way through verse 20 of Daniel 11. Beginning with Daniel 11:21, which we will cover in this post (along with more verses as space permits), we are going to come just about face-to-face with a real satanically-inspired individual. In his quest for name recognition and power, he ends up taking out his frustrations on God’s people, the Jews and he does so in a way that ultimately brings about the Maccabean Revolt that we learn about in history and was recorded for us in apocryphal books of 1 and 2 Maccabees. Secular historians also wrote about this terrible man’s deeds and he is also referred to, though not by name, by Jesus Himself in the gospels and Paul in his letters to the Thessalonians. It’s a fascinating study of a person who manages to parallel some of things that will be done by the coming Antichrist, which makes this man in Daniel 11 a type of Antichrist.
Who is this guy and what did he do that made him so infamous? Let’s look to Daniel 11 beginning with verse 21 for the answer. Please keep in mind that a fairly large section of Daniel 11 is dealing with this one man. It’s Daniel 11:21 – 35 and it’s going to take a few articles in this series to sort it out and understand what God’s Word is telling us. It would be helpful if you stop reading this and read through that section of Daniel 11 just noted several times before we start unpacking it. Please do that now.
“In his place a despicable person will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue,” (Daniel 11:21)
You’ll recall that we just learned of the fate of Seleucus IV (son of Antiochus III the Great). He was the one who taxed the people of Israel so mightily that the Jewish tax collector who was sent to collect the taxes ended up poisoning Seleucus. While one “problem” was solved, his murder created intense persecution of the Jewish people because of it.
So with Seleucus gone, “a despicable person” rises up in his place. Note the phrase “on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred” in the above verse. It would appear that this despicable person – in history known as Antiochus Epiphanes IV – did not really have the right to rule, yet somehow managed it. Antiochus Epiphanes IV was not the only son of Seleucus IV and was not necessarily next in line for the throne, but history shows us that he simply took the role of king upon himself. He also did more than that because he made himself as though a god by taking the name “Epiphanes,” which means “God manifest.” This was also the term used on coins of that era.
The older son of Seleucus IV – Demetrius – who had the actual right to rule, was being held hostage in Rome. “[Antiochus Epiphanes IV] persuaded the leaders of Syria to allow him to rule…In this way, through scheming to gain power, he secured the throne for himself.”  As we will eventually see, the final “man of sin” to enter the world’s arena and rule the world as Satan’s puppet will also gain his position through cunning, intrigue, and violence, not because he will be naturally in line to rule.
“22 The overflowing forces will be flooded away before him and shattered, and also the prince of the covenant.”
It is important to note that when terms like “flood” (or past tense, “flooded” as used here) are used, unless there is a direct reference and connect to a body of actual water, the meaning is found in military strength. While some might say, “Oh but Dr. Fred, you’re clearly not taking the meaning of Scripture literally as you say you do!”, these folks would be wrong. As I’ve stated before on numerous occasions, the goal is to always take the Scripture in its most plain and ordinary sense in order to determine the literal meaning of any passage found within God’s Word.
Again, the saying, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!” is something that paints a word picture and is used by people to show how hungry they are and are more than ready to eat because of it. They are not saying that they actually want to eat a horse and no one who understood that particular figure of speech would understand them to be saying that. The actual, literal meaning of the statement is that the person is very hungry indeed.
It’s the same with Scripture. The Bible often uses poetic language, figures of speech, metaphors, etc., and this use of “flood” is no exception. The entire context of Daniel 11 is one military skirmish after another, with plenty of political intrigue thrown in for good measure. Verse 22 has absolutely nothing to do with water flooding into an area. It is speaking of the historical fact that “Antiochus IV was successful in battle against the Egyptians initially, which this verse describes as ‘flooding away’ the overwhelming forces opposed to him.”  The king of the South at this point in history was Ptolemy IV.
Here is also where Antiochus Epiphanes IV used deceit to overcome his enemies. This is common in the political realm and occurs in the workplace and even among people who are considered to be “friends.” For those people who want to get ahead in life, lies, deceit, and intrigue are often utilized. Apparently, this was the method employed by Antiochus toward Ptolemy IV.
Constable quotes Dr. Gleason L. Archer here in stating, “It was Epiphanes’ policy to throw his intended victims off guard by offering them his friendship and alliance. Then he would maneuver for an advantageous position till he could catch them by surprise.”  This particular trick is something that people of all walks of life have used since nearly the beginning of time. In fact, it’s obvious from the Genesis record that Satan was the first to use it, which brought about the fall of humanity (Genesis 3).
Constable also points out what he considers to be the parallel strategy of the Antichrist as seen in Daniel 9:27. This coming final “man of sin” will use the type of deceit used by Antiochus Epiphanes IV when he finds a way to broker a covenant with Israel and the surrounding nations that is supposed to last for seven years. Unfortunately, as we learn in Daniel 9:27 and as Paul echoes in 2 Thessalonians 2, it’s all built on subterfuge by Antichrist to gain an advantage over the Jews.
It is interesting to also note that the Jewish high priest at this time was Onias III (“prince of the covenant” in verse 22) and he was destroyed at this time as well by Antiochus. Some believe the term “prince of the covenant” refers to Ptolemy because he was the one who entered into a treaty with Antiochus only to suffer defeat later. However, the term is probably best used to connote the Jewish state and we know that historically, Onias III was also affected by the actions of Antiochus.
“After an alliance is made with him he will practice deception, and he will go up and gain power with a small force of people,” (Daniel 11:23)
As best we can determine, the above verse quantifies the treaty/alliance that Antiochus made with Ptolemy and occurred in 170 BC. This was nothing more than part of Antiochus’ plot to ultimately overthrow Ptolemy by giving him a false sense of security. It’s really no different from the many times Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made so-called treaties with Adolf Hitler and each time, Hitler simply failed to honor those treaties. Eventually, Chamberlain retired and was replaced by Winston Churchill. Hitler used the treaties to simply give himself time knowing the world would believe he would honor the agreements made with Chamberlain. In fact, Hitler also attempted to use the Islamic Mufti (who was based in Jerusalem) to help him overcome the Jews there. This historical information is available through this article and history leading up to that time in the “A Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif Jerusalem,” which was published by the Supreme Muslim Council in 1924.
Individuals like Antiochus, Hilter, Stalin, and the coming Antichrist should never be trusted, but they always are, at least initially. The Bible tells us that some level of trust will be extended to the Antichrist as well and Israel will pay dearly for it.
We’ll continue our commentary on Daniel 11 next time. We’ll find out more about Antiochus Epiphanes IV and what he did to the Jewish state that brought him such contempt, enough so that even Jesus would mention it in Matthew 24.
 Dr. Constable’s Notes on Daniel, p. 135
Entry filed under: Islam, israel, Judaism, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: antichrist, antiochus epiphanes iv, hitler, islamic mufti, ptolemy, seleucus iv.