Daniel 11 – Outline of Kings

Daniel 11 predicts events that will take place between the rise and fall of the Greek and Roman Empires.

And now I will tell you the truth. Behold, three more kings are going to arise in Persia.

- Daniel 11:2a

Spoken in the reign of Cyrus:
1. Cambyses, 2. Smerdis, 3. Darius Hystazir, 4. Xerxes.

Then a fourth will gain far more riches than all of them; as soon as he becomes strong through his riches, he will arouse the whole empire against the realm of Greece.

- Daniel 11:2b

Xerxes did a major campaign against Greece in 480 BC. He failed to conquer them and lost the battle of Salamis.

And a mighty king will arise, and he will rule with great authority and do as he pleases.

- Daniel 11:3

Alexander the Great of Greece.

But as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom will be broken up and parceled out toward the four points of the compass, though not to his own descendants, nor according to his authority which he wielded, for his sovereignty will be uprooted and given to others besides them.

- Daniel 11:4

In the height of his power, he shall fall (Daniel 8:8), 323 BC. His kingdom was divided four ways – but none to his wife Roxana or his son Alexander IV (Daniel 8:8 – four heads).

  1. Egypt and Syria – Ptolemy I
  2. Thrace – Lysimachus
  3. Macedonia – Cassander
  4. Asia – Antigonus

Antigonus tried to spread his kingdom but the other three opposed him. In 301 BC, Lysimachus, Cassander, and Seleucus I (for Ptolemy) won.

“Then the king of the South will grow strong, along with one of his princes who will gain ascendancy over him and obtain dominion; his domain will be a great dominion indeed.

- Daniel 11:5

Ptolemy I of Egypt – five of Palestine.

One of Ptolemy's generals, Seleucus I, was given Syria and Palestine because he helped overcome Antigonus while Ptolemy was rather inactive. Seleucus had more territory than Ptolemy.

After some years they will form an alliance, and the daughter of the king of the South will come to the king of the North to carry out a peaceful arrangement.

- Daniel 11:6a

Ptolemy II became king in 283 BC. In 281 BC Seleucus was murdered and succeeded by his son Antiochus I. Ptolemy invaded Syria but failed to conquer it. When Antiochus II became king in 261 BC, war broke out again. In 252, these hostilities were concluded when Bernice, daughter of Ptolemy II married Antiochus II. Antiochus was already married to Laodice but separated from her.

But she will not retain her position of power, nor will he remain with his power, but she will be given up, along with those who brought her in and the one who sired her as well as he who supported her in those times.

- Daniel 11:6b

Ptolemy II became king in 283 BC. In 281 BC Seleucus was murdered and succeeded by his son Antiochus I. Ptolemy invaded Syria but failed to conquer it. When Antiochus II became king in 261 BC, war broke out again. In 252, these hostilities were concluded when Bernice, daughter of Ptolemy II married Antiochus II. Antiochus was already married to Laodice but separated from her.

7But one of the descendants of her line will arise in his place, and he will come against their army and enter the fortress of the king of the North, and he will deal with them and display great strength. 8Also their gods with their metal images and their precious vessels of silver and gold he will take into captivity to Egypt, and he on his part will refrain from attacking the king of the North for some years.

- Daniel 11:7-8

The brother of Bernice (of her same roots), Ptolemy III, next became King of the South. He attacks Seleucus II (son of Laodice) and is very successful. Then he returned to Egypt where he stayed the remainder of his reign.

Then the latter will enter the realm of the king of the South, but will return to his own land.

- Daniel 11:9

Seleucus II, in 240 BC, regained much of his territory but when he attacked the King of the South he was defeated.

10“His sons will mobilize and assemble a multitude of great forces; and one of them will keep on coming and overflow and pass through, that he may again wage war up to his very fortress. 11The king of the South will be enraged and go forth and fight with the king of the North. Then the latter will raise a great multitude, but that multitude will be given into the hand of the former.

- Daniel 11:10-11

Seleucus II had 3 sons – Seleucus III (226-223 BC) reign, Antiochus III (223-187 BC) reign, Seleucus IV. Antiochus III attacked Palestine in 221 and 219 which was the territory of Ptolemy IV, 221-204 BC. By 217 BC, Antiochus III had conquered all of Palestine and reached the Egyptian border. Ptolemy IV took his army to meet Antiochus III and defeated him soundly. (Called the Battle of Raphia)

When the multitude is carried away, his heart will be lifted up, and he will cause tens of thousands to fall; yet he will not prevail.

- Daniel 11:12

Ptolemy IV resumed a life of ease and died in 203 BC.

13For the king of the North will again raise a greater multitude than the former, and after an interval of some years he will press on with a great army and much equipment. 14“Now in those times many will rise up against the king of the South; the violent ones among your people will also lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they will fall down.

- Daniel 11:13-14

Antiochus, meanwhile, is gathering his forces and becomes strong. He wins the Battle of Panion near the sources of the Jordan, and the Egyptian general flees to Sidon. In 198 BC, Scopus, Egyptian general, surrenders.

Then the king of the North will come, cast up a siege ramp and capture a well-fortified city; and the forces of the South will not stand their ground, not even their choicest troops, for there will be no strength to make a stand.

- Daniel 11:15

Antiochus III now occupies all of Palestine. He deals equitably with them, even sending money for the temple service and release from some taxes.

16But he who comes against him will do as he pleases, and no one will be able to withstand him; he will also stay for a time in the Beautiful Land, with destruction in his hand. 17He 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.

- Daniel 11:16-17

Antiochus betroths his daughter Cleopatra to the 7 year old Ptolemy V. The marriage is consummated 5 years later. Cleopatra, however, sides with her husband and the arrangement does not work to his benefit.

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.

- Daniel 11:18

When Hannibal was defeated by the Romans in 202 BC, he came to Antiochus III and encouraged him to move east toward Greece. Antiochus was successful and conquered some in Greece but the Romans (prince) defeated him soundly at Thermopylae (191) and at Magnesium (190). The Romans taxed him heavily and took his son (Antiochus IV, Epiphanes) as hostage to insure payment.

So he will turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land, but he will stumble and fall and be found no more.

- Daniel 11:19

Antiochus III marched against the revolting Armenicius, trying to replenish his treasury. He robbed their temples but he was slain by the Elamites. So he died in disgrace.

“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.

- Daniel 11:20

Seleucus IV son of Antiochus III, next comes to reign. Roman tax was still heavy. So the new king sends a tax collector, Heliodonus, to take money from the temple in Jerusalem, (2 Macc. 3) Soon after, Seleucus IV is removed from the throne, perhaps by poison.

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

(Daniel 8:23) Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) was not the rightful heir being the brother of Seleucus IV, rather than one of his sons. But by flattery he won the support of some kings in Asia Minor and so he gained the throne.

The overflowing forces will be flooded away before him and shattered, and also the prince of the covenant.

- Daniel 11:22

He will win over Ptolemy VI (170) and depose Onias II, prince of the covenant, high priest, to put in another who would pay him greater tribute and do more to Hellenize. This created unrest among the more orthodox Jews.

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

He made many leagues with other – captured Egypt.

In a time of tranquility he will enter the richest parts of the realm, and he will accomplish what his fathers never did, nor his ancestors; he will distribute plunder, booty and possessions among them, and he will devise his schemes against strongholds, but only for a time.

- Daniel 11:24

Took even lower Egypt. Give spoils to his troops.

He will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South with a large army; so the king of the South will mobilize an extremely large and mighty army for war; but he will not stand, for schemes will be devised against him.

- Daniel 11:25

Ptolemy VI fights but loses, partly by sedition and desertion.

Those who eat his choice food will destroy him, and his army will overflow, but many will fall down slain.

- Daniel 11:26

Lennaeus and Eulaeus, ministers of the young Ptolemy, betrayed him to other factions in Egypt.

As for both kings, their hearts will be intent on evil, and they will speak lies to each other at the same table; but it will not succeed, for the end is still to come at the appointed time.

- Daniel 11:27

Antiochus IV and Ptolemy Philometer called a truce and met at a conference. Antiochus lied that he was only there to help Philometer gain control of all Egypt while Philometer lied about believing this. They failed, however, to overthrow the other claimant to the throne, Ptolemy Physcon.

Then he will return to his land with much plunder; but his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and then return to his own land.

- Daniel 11:28

With many spoils of war, Antiochus IV returned to Syria. On the way he showed his disregard for the Jews by plundering their land. (Daniel 8:24).

"At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before.

- Daniel 11:29

Antiochus IV attacked Egypt again in 168 but was not victorious.

For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.

- Daniel 11:30

Egypt was now united and asked help from Rome which sent ships with soldiers. Kittim is actually Cyprus but was used by the Jews to mean the regions beyond. The Roman Laenas met Antiochus and drew a circle around him and said he must decide whether to withdraw before he stepped out of the circle. He agreed and left but turned his vengeance against Palestine. He occupied Jerusalem and had help from some traitors who forsook the holy covenant.

Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.

- Daniel 11:31

Antiochus wanted to Hellenize the Jews. He set up an image of Jupiter in the temple and offered swine on the altar. The drunken orgy of Bacchus was made compulsory. Jews were forbidden to practice circumcision, Sabbath, feasts, etc. (Daniel 8:10-14)

32By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action. 33Those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days.

- Daniel 11:32-33

Some, under Menelaus, agreed with Antiochus to work toward the Greek influence. But many others refused and suffered extreme torture. Many examples.

Now when they fall they will be granted a little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy.

- Daniel 11:34

Judas Maccabeus comes and fights against Antiochus with some but not complete success. Some join the effort to resist but not through convictions. Some of these became spies.

Some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time.

- Daniel 11:35

The remnant shall suffer but be purified. The end of the Syrian domination shall come when the Romans supersede them. Then will be established the last of the earthly kingdoms to set the stage for God's kingdom.

"Then the king will do as he pleases,

- Daniel 11:36a
  • McGuiggan – Still King of the North, but now Rome.
  • Butler – Still Antiochus IV.
  • Young – The antichrist is now being presented. We have moved to the time near the end of the world.

and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods;

- Daniel 11:36b
  • McGuiggan – Romans did this.
  • Butler – Pride

and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.

- Daniel 11:36c
  • McGuiggan – Indignation is the time of God against the Jews. Romans were worshippers of power more than anything else.
  • Butler – Daniel 8:19 says indignation is related to successors in Grecian kingdom.

37He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all. 38But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures. 39He will take action against the strongest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god; he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him and will cause them to rule over the many, and will parcel out land for a price.

- Daniel 11:37-39

McGuiggan – Those who would accept Roman domination, Rome would help. (Mingling clay with iron)

“At the end time the king of the South will collide with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, with horsemen and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow them and pass through.

- Daniel 11:40
  • McGuiggan – Ptolemy's move against Rome. Cleopatra with Mark Antony went against Rome but were defeated by Octavian after a vital naval war. With the battle of Actium (31 BC) King of South was over.
  • Butler – Summation of wars of Antiochus with Egypt. Do not know of a fourth attack.
  • Young – A king to come typified by the Ptolemies. This is the great battle at the end of the age. Antichrist is King of North. Symbolic armies.

41He will also enter the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall; but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab and the foremost of the sons of Ammon. 42Then he will stretch out his hand against other countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape.

- Daniel 11:41-42
  • McGuiggan – Herod pledged support to Octavian who visited Palestine. Rome did not conquer these countries but did rule Egypt.
  • Young – Egypt represents nations who resist.

But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels.

- Daniel 11:43

McGuiggan – The Libians and Ethiopians followed with Rome.

44But rumors from the East and from the North will disturb him, and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many. 45He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.

- Daniel 11:44-45
  • McGuiggan – Work of tribes to the east and north will cause him to war that direction with success. But he also puts his authority in the Holy Land. He eventually shall fall.
  • Butler – Antiochus IV has his armies in the field when he hears of revolts in Parthia and Armenia. He goes to quell these revolts but while gone, the Jewish revolt has success under Judas Maccabeus. The desecration is then removed from the temple. Antiochus died in 164 having become mad.
  • Young – Antichrist will make his final stand between the Mediterranean Sea and Jerusalem.