From the Past to the Future

Daniel 11

Jerry A Collins




*               What is the nature of the conflicts recorded in Daniel 11?

*               Who is the king of the north and south?

*               Is the last section of Daniel 11 yet in the future?


Sometimes in life we face situations where we cannot figure out all of the details that will get us to an ultimate conclusion. We just begin taking a step at a time, a decision at a time, until we eventually reach the ultimate aim. We may have to adjust our thinking as we move along or respond to unexpected circumstances as we continue our course. This can happen in our career path or financial path or because of completely unexpected situations of life. Consider Daniel as an old man, retired from public office after years of service, nearing the time of his own death. It is now that he receives some of the most detailed prophecy in his book. And yet he says as for me I heard but could not understand so I said what will be the outcome of these events? And He said Go your way Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time 12:8-9. Now Daniel had prayed fervently for the restoration of his people and for the kingdom of God. But this did not occur during his lifetime. But these words of 10-12 were given by the angel to encourage him as he faced his impending death with the hope that even tho not comprehending all of the details, He was assured that God had a plan and the final outcome was determined. The things Daniel had prayed for and hoped for would come to pass.


Here is how that plan unfolds for the nation of Israel:

(1) From Daniels day to fall of Alexander the Great 11:2-4

This prophecy given during reign of Persian king, Darius, 10:1 and angel informs Daniel that three more kings will arise in Persia, followed by a fourth more powerful and wealthy than the rest. The reason for mentioning this fourth king is because this king is the one who will arouse the empire against the realm of Greece vs 2. We do know that this king was Xerxes and during his reign he fought wars against the Greeks. This precipitates the emergence of the mighty king of vs 3, Alexander the Great. He conquers Persia but came to an early end at 32. The Greek empire was parceled out to four generals, two of which become prominent in the next section because of their rule over territories in proximity to IsraelSyria to the north and Egypt to the south. Alexander founded no dynasty, had no heirs, his kingdom divided. Vs 4 strongly suggest that a normal course of events did not happen because God sovereignly intervened taking the throne from Alex and his descendentsGod in control his purposes achieved.

(2) To the kings of the North and the South 5-35

Now the prophecy narrows its scope to two of these generals kingdoms in proximity to IsraelSyria and Seleucus and Egypt and Ptolemy. Here a some things to note:

(A) These two kingdoms struggle with each from the very beginning to the very day of Gods wrath (11:45; 12:1). It begins with these two generals but includes a number of kings and leaders both in the north and in the south throughout the course of history. Similar to the struggle between the East and the West even until our own timeslike that of Russia and United States or communism and the free world. Notice the struggle in vs 5-6; 8-9; 11; 13-15; 25-27; 29; 40). Some of this is already depicted by leaders in history like Ptolemy 2nd and 3rd and Antiochus the 3rd and Antiochus Epiphanes. But still others even into modern times.

(B) These two kingdoms, Syria and Egypt, fought with one another for over 130 years initially, and Israel was caught in between the two becoming the battlefields of these enemies as they moved back and forth. Jerusalem was captured by both sides from time to time thru the conflict and was sacked and ravaged many times. Even in modern times, Syria and Egypt still exists and were even independently as well as in league with each other have attacked Israel today. The account of these kings is given because of Israels involvement. Gods primary concern is for Israel and in response to Daniels prayers gives this detailed info.

(C) The king of the north emerges as primary 21-35 The king of the north is replaced with another who has no legal claim to the throne. He seizes this kingdom by means of his political skill and devious schemes vs 23. He even achieves this in a time of peace far surpassing the cunning of his predecessors vs 24. With his confidence bolstered by his accomplishments this new king of the north willl take on the mighty king of the south both with large armies but the king of the south will be defeated anyway not by military mite but by schemes which appear To be the handiwork of the king of the north (vs 25-26). Then both agree to negotiate peace terms but lie to each other because all must end in Gods way vs 27. The king of the north returns southward again but ships from Kittim (Rome) oppose and resist him so in shame he returns home vs 28-30. Twice tho we learn he is enraged at Israel vs 28 & 30. This king desecrates the land and temple but is also resisted by some Jews and this kind of thing will go on until the appointed time 31-35.

(3) To the last king 36-45

This king will have great power and his ego will be inflated 36. He will blaspheme God. This is the mark of the antichrist. The duration of his rule has been determined by God. Again vs 37 says he will magnify himself above all. He will promote military strength vs 38. And because of this strength he will be able to amass great wealth (gold, silver, costly stones and treasures). In return for the support of men he will parcel out land to them as a favor 39. Now it seems that the king of the south in the end time attacks Israel and simultaneously the king of the north does the same vs 40. But Hethis final kingenters Israel that beautiful landto rescue the nation from these kings. His first strike is against Egypt 42-43 and her allies and plunders these lands. But then, this last king, the antichrist, hears rumors from the East and north that disturb him enough that he musters his powerful army, anniliates many and occupies Israel pitching his tent between the dead sea and the med sea vs 45. Yet he too will come to his own end and there will be none to help him when he does! That end will be described in chp 12 but for now we are to see him as evil, very powerful, stationed in Israel, posing as a savior, intent on devastation of those who do not acknowledge him, knowing that his time is at hand!


1. We learn that while sinners rebel against God, seeking their own interests, Gods plans and purposes are being achieved (4, 27, 29, 35, 36, 45). These verses underscore the sovereign control of God over all human history and especially those related to the end times.

2. We ought to have a spirit of trust and confidence in God even when things worsening around us. Jesus said when you begin to see these things passthen what? Act as if the world is coming to an end without hope? Go grovel on the earth? No lift up your heads it is working out exactly as God said it would. It ought to confirm your faith not destroy it.

3. This oversight in history also includes the details of your own life. Gods plan is being worked out now.