Daniel 11 is one intense and action-packed chapter. The first section – verses 1-35 – is dedicated to the prophecy of Alexander’s Grecian empire up until Antiochus Epiphanes, who, as we saw in Revelation 13 – The Antichrist, is a picture of the Antichrist.
What can be difficult for many students of the Bible is verses 36-45, which, as is often the case in prophetic Scripture, leaps into the future and speaks of the Antichrist and his exploits in the last days. In particular, three kingdoms that cause havoc on the man of sin’s agenda of world domination.
A few specifics that we should attempt to determine as we move forward are: 1. What this is not. 2. What is the point of reference? 3. When does this occur? 4. Who are these kingdoms?
What This Is Not
This is not the end of the Tribulation as outlined in Revelation chapter 16. In the last half of the Tribulation (1,260 days), Antichrist will have full control of the world and the world system, with no enemies other than the people of God and God Himself (Revelation 13:4-8).
What Is the Point of Reference?
The focal point of all Scripture, unless clearly stated, is always the Holy Land of Israel.
The reader will note that the Seleucid empire in green was the empire of the king of the north, which included Antiochus Epiphanes at the end of this empire, and the Ptolemaic empire in orange was the empire of the king of the south. Within these two empires, generally, should be located the antagonists of the Antichrist in the last days as outlined in Daniel 11:36-45 and, as in both Antiochus Epiphanes days and the days of Antichrist, Israel is center stage.
Is there a link to who these adversaries are? I believe that there certainly is, and we will look closely at what this connection could be.
When Does This Occur?
Anytime between the rapture of the church and the middle of the Tribulation, at which point the Antichrist will take total control of the world, is the window of time we should be looking at; but I do believe that we are looking specifically at a campaign that will occur in the first half of the Tribulation (1,260 days), closer towards the middle of the Tribulation.
Again, it can’t be the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation (1,260 days) – the Great Tribulation – because, by then, Antichrist will have full allegiance of the entire world (Revelation 13:4-8).
Who Are These Kingdoms?
Keeping in mind that Israel is the point of reference and that the ancient Seleucid and Ptolemaic empires are the areas we are to generally be looking at will help us in identifying these kingdoms as we move along. More importantly, of course, is that this passage of Scripture does identify some of the adversaries of Antichrist and, using logic and deduction, we should be able to offer up probable identities of the remaining countries and the one prevailing link between them all.
Antichrist’s ultimate enemy, of course, is the Lord Jesus Christ and His people, but the conflicts found in Daniel 11:36-45 are against Antichrist’s Last Adversary on earth just before his takeover of the entire world.
With the foundation laid, let’s begin.
“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
“But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
“Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain” (Daniel 11:36-39).
Although Daniel 11:36-39 has many personality traits and characteristics consistent with Antiochus Epiphanes, these verses actually introduce and summarize the Antichrist’s entire reign, along with his temperament, personality, and agenda that cannot be compared to Antiochus Epiphanes’ reign.
For instance, even though Antiochus Epiphanes thought of himself as a god, as most pagan leaders did, he did honor “a god whom his fathers knew.” Zeus was the god he erected in his Abomination of Desolation, which was a precursor of the Antichrist’s image that he will set up in the rebuilt third Jewish Temple (Revelation 13:14-15, Matthew 24:15, and 2 Thessalonians 2:4), with a base of operations in Jerusalem and a house/palace/temple in the land of Shinar (Zechariah 5:11).
The god who the Antichrist will worship is a “strange god,” meaning a god that is unknown, alien, or foreign. Through other Scriptures, we understand this god to be his image, himself, and, ultimately, Satan.
The last phrase in this passage is important: “… and he shall cause them to rule over many and shall divide the land for gain.”
There are two major interpretations that I see of looking at this critical statement.
- This could be alluding to the 10 kings – or 10 regional kingdoms of the earth set up by the Antichrist and the United Nations. Here is a map of what that “kingdom” may look like.
- This could be referring to the covenant between the Antichrist, Israel, and the many (Daniel 9:27) that could divide Israel, and some of these “many” could very well be the adversaries in this study.
Either way, Daniel 11:36-39 gives us a foundational summary of Antichrist, who he is, what he is about, and what he seeks to accomplish.
The next verse is basically a summary verse of two of the three kingdoms that will rise up against the Antichrist:
“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Daniel 11:40).
The phrase “at the time of the end” means the time of the end and/or utmost border, helping the reader to understand that we are talking of end-time prophecy and should not be regarded as a definitive statement relating to the end of the Tribulation, but rather as an indication of the last of the last days. After these conflicts, Antichrist will only have three and one-half years (1,260 days) of absolute, worldwide rule.
As with the exploits of Antiochus Epiphanes against the king of the south in his day, which was headquartered in Egypt, so, too, will be one of the three kingdoms that will “push at” – or challenge – the Antichrist in the last days.
The following information, because of this summary verse, is focused on revealing who I believe the king of the north and the king of the south is (though the angel goes on to tell us later that Egypt is the leading kingdom of the south), which will be a foundation for the rest of the passage we are studying.
The key to this verse, for me, is that the king of the north, along with the king of the south – which I believe to be Turkey and Egypt (Egypt being listed by name below) – will be coming against the Antichrist with ships. This makes perfect sense whether Antichrist is stationed at this time in either western Europe (which, according to my interpretations, he will rule from up until the middle of the Tribulation) or Israel as he is enforcing the recently signed covenant of Daniel 9:27. I have no doubt that the Antichrist will be moving back and forth between these two locations during the first half of the Tribulation.
This means that wherever Antichrist will be located at the time of this ill-advised offensive – either western Europe or Israel – these nation’s navies will either be headed for Europe or, more than likely, off the coasts of Israel where the Antichrist will be administering his covenant and keeping an eye on his coveted prize that he will claim at the midway point of the Tribulation – namely Jerusalem and the third Temple.
Even if the Antichrist is in Europe at the time of this attempted overthrow and pushback, I do believe that these nations have Israel ultimately in their sights. By going after Israel, they are going after the Antichrist, his rule, and his covenant (Daniel 9:27). Below, we will see just this: that Israel is at the center of the conflict.
We seem to be seeing a prelude to this very thing today as Turkey has become an “arms-industry powerhouse.” Additionally, Turkey has a sizable Navy, and this Navy – along with a substantial amount of her conventional fire-power – could be virtually untouched, apart from the battlefield itself, by the ramifications of the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel in Ezekiel 38, which will have transpired up to three plus years prior to when Daniel 11:40-45 will occur.
It’s also very interesting to note that Egypt has the largest navy in the Middle East and Africa. Though both Egypt and Turkey will “push at him” and “come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships,” they won’t get very far as Antichrist “shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and pass over” taking the battle to them in their own countries.
“He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown” (Daniel 11:41a).
During these campaigns, Antichrist “shall enter also into the glorious land” (Israel), no doubt to access the already stationed UN security troops and hardware (missiles, tanks, etc.) that will be providing “security” for Israel against her enemies and enforce the covenant in order to aid in these battles, along with any European Union (EU) forces and munitions that he will have at his disposal. This will also serve as an excellent base of military operations as Israel will be virtually in the midst of these three fronts (we shall see the third front emerge shortly in our study).
As Antichrist does, “many countries shall be overthrown,” which will certainly include the kingdom of the north and the kingdom of the south, but there seem to be other nations that will be overwhelmed as well, as we shall see from the following verses.
The Hebrew word for “overthrown” is 3782 כָּשַׁל “kashal” and means to stumble, stagger, totter. As noted, this seems to indicate that the Antichrist will come into Israel, the nation he worked with up to three plus years earlier to sign the covenant between himself, Israel, and the many (Daniel 9:27), and set up a more permanent military base of operations to overthrow these countries.
I think we can safely assume that this base of operations in Israel – which will be militarized by Antichrist’s United Nations forces after the covenant (Daniel 9:27) – will remain, be strengthened, and be the launching pad of the Abomination of Desolation which should happen in relatively short-order after these events described in Daniel 11:40-45 and the destruction of the Whore of Babylon by the 10 kings (Revelation 17:16-17). This will come in very handy for the ultimate objective of the Antichrist to declare himself god, defile the temple, and attempt to exterminate the people of Israel!
[For more information on how I believe the United Nations forces will be the vehicle for Antichrist’s Abomination of Desolation, please see A Study of Zechariah 14:1-11. I have written extensively on the subject of the 10 kings and the destruction of the Whore of Babylon, or Mystery Babylon, and a good place to begin would be A Combined Interpretive Scenario of Revelation 17 & 18 for more information on this subject.]
“… but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (Daniel 11:41b).
Edom, the descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau, and the brothers descended from Lot and his daughters, Moab and Ammon, are located in modern-day Jordan. This is hugely significant for two very important reasons in our study and future prophecy.
First, this is a key verse in identifying the region that we should be looking at. If the Antichrist was waging war outside of the Middle East and nations in close proximity to Israel, then these three ancient nations, located in modern-day Jordan, would logically not be mentioned. Therefore, the area where these adversaries of Antichrist would understandably be located is the Middle East and surrounding areas, with Israel being the above-mentioned point of reference.
Secondly, the modern-day country of Jordan will be relatively safe during the last half of the Tribulation, and there’s a good reason for that. This is the area where the Israelites will flee to after the Abomination of Desolation and be protected by God during the Great Tribulation (Revelation 12:6) in the last three and one-half years (1,260 days) of the seven-year (2,520 days) Tribulation!
In our following passage, as is common in Scripture, we encounter more details of the Antichrist and the king of the south – notably, Egypt and her allies who will attempt to come against him.
“He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps” (Daniel 11:42-43).
It appears that this exact event is also found in Ezekiel 30:1-9 with the same cast of characters and an utter devastation from a heavy hand, who we see now in Daniel is the Antichrist. As these multiple nations are rebelling against the Antichrist’s rule and covenant, they will pay a heavy price.
I did some investigating, and it appears that many believe that Egypt still has many large gold mines, as of yet undiscovered, and vast untapped mineral resources!
While Egypt is unmentioned, Libya and Ethiopia are listed as participants in the Ezekiel 38 invasion of Israel, which many of us believe will occur just after the rapture of the church. Therefore, Libya and Ethiopia will undoubtedly be two of the many signers of the covenant (Daniel 9:27) with Israel and the Antichrist.
What do these three nations have in common? For one, they are all nations in northern Africa. Yet, there is still another common thread that we will discuss below.
Next, just as Antichrist’s campaign against the king of the south was given in more detail for us in Daniel 11:42-43, now the Antichrist’s campaign against the king of the north – along with a threat from the east – is highlighted in Daniel 11:44.
“But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many” (Daniel 11:44).
Bearing in mind that Israel is our point of reference, the geographical significance of the kingdom of the south, which we just looked at in verses 42-43, as well as the relationship to Jordan that we saw in verse 41, we should be able to take an educated guess on who these countries are to Israel’s east and north and the common thread that unites them all. We should also keep in view that many of these nations will most probably be parties to the covenant between Antichrist and Israel and are among the “many” in Daniel 9:27.
Because the modern-day nation of Jordan – noted as Edom, Moab, and Ammon, mentioned above – is immediately to Israel’s east, we should be able to calibrate these “tidings out of the east” that are troubling Antichrist.
Directly east of Jordan is the modern-day nation of Iraq, and Iraq is extremely significant in future Bible prophecy when it comes to the Antichrist and his relationship to Babel/Babylon during the Great Tribulation (the last 1,260 days of the Tribulation), which we will briefly discuss below.
In addition to Iraq, we should also consider the nations directly to her east, including Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We would also be remiss not to mention the possibility of the “stan” countries – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
I believe we do error greatly in these passages of Scripture to think that we should include the oriental east – India, China, Korea, Japan, etc. – in that there really is no reason for these far eastern nations to rebel against the Antichrist and his United Nations agenda.
I’m always a little more than perplexed when I hear Bible teachers touting China, in particular, as an adversary of Antichrist and his kingdom. The truth is, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has more in common with Antichrist’s Mark of the Beast economic and worship system than any other regime on the planet. The United Nations’ ultimate agenda, along with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and other UN-based agencies and NGOs, would absolutely love to incorporate and implement China’s surveillance state and other CCP technologies and tactics all over the world!
For me, China, in my own Biblical studies, will seemingly play a major role in Antichrist’s emergence on the political and global stage, along with the United Kingdom, Russia (after the Ezekiel 38 invasion), the European Union (EU), and, of course, with the auspices of the United Nations (UN).
When it comes to the north, I believe we can safely speculate that Syria (where the Ezekiel 38 invasion of Israel should originate from after the rapture of the church), Lebanon with Hezbollah, and Turkey (which we already mentioned above and is another major player of the Ezekiel 38 invasion) will be among those nations that also “shall trouble” Antichrist from the “tidings” that he hears.
The Hebrew word for “tidings” is 8052 שְׁמוּעָה “shemuah” and means bruit, doctrine, fame, mentioned, news, report, rumor, tidings. Feminine passive participle of shamem; something heard, i.e., An announcement — bruit, doctrine, fame, mentioned, news, report, rumor, tidings.
I suggest that this could very well be a “report” from satellite imagery showing military buildup coming from countries in the north and the east of Israel, as well as bruit coming from the emerging battlefields themselves.
If the Antichrist has already repelled Turkey in the north from her instigation earlier (and if this is not just more details as the earlier passages are), then seeing this buildup by her so close on the heels of Antichrist repelling her back to her country will incur his wrath!
Even though many of these nations – though not all – will have partaken in the Ezekiel 38 invasion of Israel some years earlier and were devastated on the battlefield and repelled back to their own countries, they will not have been destroyed as viable nations. Therefore, those who participated in the earlier invasion of Israel will most certainly be signatories of the covenant as the “many” along with Israel and the Antichrist.
Needless to say, the Antichrist will “go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to make away many,” and completely devastate this rebellion that comes from the north, the south, and the east! The use of precision nuclear strikes by the Antichrist forces on these rebellious nations should honestly be considered as playing a part in this eradication. Not one of them will prevail, and all of these nations will be decimated to the point of military annihilation and/or abject subservience.
The Common Thread
The common thread that unites all of these countries, just like the Ezekiel 38 invasion of Israel (excluding Russia), is Islam!
So, it appears that these nations that signed on to the Daniel 9:27 covenant – along with any Muslim nations who did not sign on to the covenant – will have second thoughts concerning Israel and will rebel against the Antichrist for putting them into such a position with their hatred of Yahweh, His chosen people, and the coveted Holy Land. Antichrist will not tolerate this insolent rebellion, however, especially when it comes to his plans to annihilate Israel on his own timetable and on his own terms.
In addition, Islam has their own end-times eschatology and will do anything and everything in their power to initiate the return of their savior, the Mahdi, in all of Islam’s many varieties and variations. Nevertheless, Antichrist, for them – as they start to see him for who he truly is – will be a major obstacle in their “divinely” inspired pursuits and worldwide domination efforts, which is so inherently a part of the Islamic creed.
Depending on how the world will be divided up into 10 regional kingdoms (10 kings of Revelation 17:12-16, 10 toes of Daniel 2, and 10 horns of Daniel 7), these nations of Daniel 11:40-44 in general and their regions in specific, as I’ve suggested before, could be the three horns that the “Little Horn” (Antichrist) will pluck-up by the roots (Daniel 7:8, 20).
In all, this will be Islam’s last stand, and Islam will be Antichrist’s Last Adversary. It will be because of this utter destruction of Antichrist’s Last Adversary that Revelation 13’s words will ring true at that time:
“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:4).
“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Daniel 11:45).
We can safely assume that after Antichrist deals with these Islamic nations that trouble him – and after he commits the Abomination of Desolation in the third rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem – that Antichrist will not only establish his throne and temple in Babel/Babylon (which is why Iraq to the east is such an important piece to this puzzle) but “he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain.” This glorious mountain, of course, is Jerusalem or Zion, and the two seas are the Mediterranean and the Salt Sea or Dead Sea. Two thrones and bases of operation for the Antichrist in the Middle East during the Great Tribulation when he will control the entire world.
Antichrist “shall come to his end” as Christ will defeat His enemies as He has the Antichrist and False Prophet thrown into the Lake of Fire alive (Revelation 19:20), and what is left of the armies of the world will be slain with the sword of His mouth (Revelation 19:21), “and none shall help him” or them.
As I always like to remind the reader, when it comes to future Bible prophecy, one should never be unwilling to admit that theirs is an interpretation and should be regarded as such.
I do believe that this interpretive view of Daniel 11:36-45 is a very real prospect and fits rather nicely, as a cohesive addition, to the other interpretive scenarios I have written about. But I cannot – and will not – state unequivocally that what we have here is absolute.
With that being said, let us focus on the primary task at hand and be Answering the Call of The Great Commission, and giving an answer to every man and woman who so desperately needs Jesus and asks us, “Why Am I Here and What Is It All About?”
Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!
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