December 8

December 8


Daniel 11-12


Daniel’s Vision of Persia, Egypt, Rome & the Last Days         Daniel 11


Canon of Kings…

The Canon of Kings was a dated list of kings used by ancient astronomers as a convenient means to date astronomical phenomena, such as eclipses. The Canon was preserved by the astronomer Claudius Ptolemy, and is thus known sometimes as Ptolemy's Canon. It is one of the most important bases for our knowledge of ancient chronology.

The Canon derives originally from Babylonian sources. Thus, it lists Kings of Babylon from 747 BC until the conquest of Babylon by the Persians in 539 BC, and then Persian kings from 538 to 332 BC. At this point, the Canon was continued by Greek astronomers in Alexandria, and lists the Macedonian kings from 331 to 305 BC, the Ptolemies from 304 BC to 30 BC, and the Roman and Byzantine Emperors, although they are not kings; in some manuscripts the list is continued down to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.[1]

Babylonian Kings, 747–539 BC

  • Macedonian Kings, 331–305 BC



Daniel 11:1-Daniel has been given insight into the future and now he seeks to support the king, Darius the Mede (during his first year in office).

Daniel 11:2-Daniel reveals what the future holds.  It details prophecy that will take place over a period of over some 325 years with amazing accuracy. There will be four more Persian kings...the fourth will fight against Greece.


11:2 Here begins a remarkable section of detailed prophecy,

  • first about Persia (v. 2),
  • then Alexander the Great (vv. 3-4),
  • the Ptolemies and Seleucids until Antiochus Epiphanes (vv. 5-20).three more kings.


  • All the details of these predictions have since been fulfilled accurately.  Next Daniel gives a prophecy about Antichrist yet to be fulfilled (vv. 36-45).
  • Cambyses (529-522),
  • Pseudo-Smerdis (522-521),
  • Darius I Hystaspes (also called Darius the Great, 521-486; cf. Ezra 5-6).
  • a fourth.
  • Xerxes (486-465), known in the book of Esther as Ahasuerus.
  • The Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on Daniel 11:2, p. 1329


Daniel 11:3-4-These verses pertain to the rise and fall of Greece.


  1. These visions and insights regarding the future of the Persian and Greek Empires were relevant because at some time, each empire attempted to wipe out the people of God.
  2. The Persian Empire tried to wipe out the Jewish people during the reign of Xerxes, through the plot of Haman (as shown in the Book of Esther).
  3. The Greek Empire tried to wipe out the Jewish people during the reign of Antiochus IV, when he attempted to kill every Jew who did not renounce their commitment to God and embrace Greek culture…

Afterward Alexander's death, none of his descendants succeeded him. It wasn't for lack of trying. Alexander did leave three possible heirs: a half brother named Philip, who was mentally deficient; a son who was born after Alexander died; and an illegitimate son named Hercules. The half-brother and the posthumous son were first designated co-monarchs, each with a regent. But fighting amongst the regents eventually resulted in the murder of all possible heirs.

David Guzik :: Study Guide for Daniel 11,


Daniel 11:5-20-These verses pertain to Egypt and Syria. The kings of the south are Egypt and the kings of the north are Syria.  After the death of Alexander the Great…his kingdom was divided between four of his generals.

  • Ptolemy became the king of Syria (kings of the north).
  • Seleucos I became king of Egypt (kings of the south).



Daniel 11:5


  1. This was fulfilled in Ptolemy I of Egypt, who exerted his control over the Holy Land. Soon after the division of Alexander's Empire, the Ptolemies dominated this region.
  2. Ptolemy I had a prince named Seleucus, who rose to power and took dominion over the region of Syria. He became more powerful than his former Egyptian ruler. The Seleucids are identified with the Kings of the North, and the Ptolemies were the Kings of the South.
  3. The dynasties of the Seleucids and the Ptolemies fought for some 130 years. The stronger of the two always held dominion over the Holy Land.

David Guzik :: Study Guide for Daniel 11,


For additional information on the Ptolemy Empire see:

Ptolemy I Soter (366 BCE – 282 BCE) was one of the successor kings to the empire of Alexander the Great. He served not only as king of Egypt but also the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a dynasty which included the infamous Cleopatra VII.


For additional information on the Seleucid Empire see:

The Seleucid Empire was the Persian kingdom of the Macedonian dynasty of the Seleucids, whose rule began with the collapse of Alexander's empire and faded away between Roman and Parthian growth of power in the 1st century BCE.

The Seleucid Empire began when Seleucos I, one of Alexander the Great's former favorite companions, was given the satrapy of Babylon in the second division of the empire in 321 BCE. He first ruled it briefly until 315 BCE, when he was forced to flee to Egypt under pressure of Antigonos. There he prepared his revenge with the help of Ptolemy, and succeeded to retake Babylon after the battle of Gaza in 305 BCE. He also inherited the Asian part of Antigonos' vast empire after its final fall at the battle of Ipsos in 301 BCE. Having secured Antigonos' kingdom's eastern part, Seleucos managed to reconquer most of Alexander's empire, defeating Lysimachos and Demetrios. He was, however, murdered in 281 BCE on the eve of his success by the man he supported on the Egyptian throne, Ptolemy Keraunos.


Daniel 11:6-This was accomplished by the marriage of Antiochus II (of the Seleucids) and Bernice (daughter of Ptolemy II). There was a temporary peace.  But it dissolved with the death of Ptolemy II.  When that happened, Antiochus II put away Bernice and took back his former wife, Laodice.  Not having had a good experience previously in their marriage, Laodice did not trust Antiochus II…so she had him poisoned.  She then had Bernice, her attendants, and an infant son of Antiochus II killed.  She then had her son, Selecus II put on the throne under Syrian control.


Daniel 11:17


  1. This was fulfilled when Antiochus III gave his daughter Cleopatra to Ptolemy V of Egypt. He did this hoping to gain permanent influence and eventually control in Egypt. To the great disappointment of Antiochus III, the plan did not succeed because Cleopatra wasn't faithful to her Egyptian husband at all.
  2. This was not the Cleopatra most famous from ancient history, but this was the ancestor of the more famous Cleopatra. The more famous Egyptian woman lived some 100 years after the time of this Cleopatra.

David Guzik :: Study Guide for Daniel 11,


Daniel 11:18


  1. He shall turn back on him: After the disappointing effort through the daughter, the king of the North will turn his efforts towards the coastlands - until he is stopped by one formerly under reproach, until he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
  2. This was fulfilled when Antiochus III turned his attention towards the areas of Asia Minor and Greece. He was helped by Hannibal, the famous general from Carthage. But a Roman General, Lucius Cornelius Scipio, defeated Antiochus in Greece.  Antiochus planned to humiliate Greece but was humiliated instead. He returned to his former regions, having lost all that he gained and died shortly after.
  3. After this defeat Antiochus III had an inglorious end. Needing money badly for his treasury, he resorted to pillaging a Babylonian temple and was killed by enraged local citizens.

David Guzik :: Study Guide for Daniel 11,


Daniel 11:21-35


11:21-25. These verses describe the career of Antiochus IV (Epiphanes, 175-164 ), who came to the throne by intrigue (v. 21), made several expeditions into Egypt (vv. 24-27), then turned his hatred on Israel (v. 28).  The ships of Kittim refer to Roman power that came from the west past Kittim (Cyprus) to defeat Antiochus in Egypt.  Venting his anger on the Jews, Antiochus declared the Mosaic ceremonies illegal and erected in the holy place a statue of Zeus (v. 31).  Some Jews resisted and were martyred (vv. 32-33).

The Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on Daniel 11:21-35, p. 1331


Daniel 11:36-45-These verses speak of the future activities of the Antichrist during the Tribulation Period. 11:35 moves the reader from what was taking place during the ongoing struggles between the king of the south and the king of the north and speaks of the future time of the Tribulation Period…"until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time".  Verse 36 then picks us at the Tribulation Period and the king who will rule…the Antichrist.  He will attain great power...but will be attacked from the north and the south (:40).  He will establish his base of operations in Palestine.  He will have some success in war against other nations.


11:40-45 In the Tribulation period the king of the South and the king of the North will attempt a pincer movement against Antichrist (v. 4). But with Palestine as his base (v. 41), he will first defeat Egypt, then Libya and Ethiopia (Sudan).

follow at his heels.  Be part of his dominion.

rumors from the East and from the North.  May related to the armies of Rev. 9:13-21; 16:12.  The threat of these armies will cause Antichrist to return to Palestine, making his headquarters between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean (v. 45).  But he will come to his end at the hands of the victorious, returning Christ (Rev. 19:11-21).

The Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on Daniel 11:40-45, p. 1331


Daniel’s Vision of the Tribulation Period                                 Daniel 12


Daniel 12:1-This is the beginning of the Great Tribulation...the second half of the Tribulation.

Daniel 12:2-This verse predicts the resurrection of the righteous at the Second Coming of Christ (cf. Revelation 20:4-6), and the wicked at the end of the Millennium (Revelation 20:5).

Daniel 12:3-“Those who have insight” are those that will see through the deception of Antichrist and will lead others to the truth during the days of the Tribulation.

Daniel 12:4-10-Daniel is told to “conceal these words and seal up the book”…that being the prophecy concerning the future that he has been given.  This doesn’t mean to conceal in such a way as to keep it hidden. But, to preserve it for the future.  He sees two other men talking about what he has heard and asks what the outcome will be.  He is again told that these things are to be sealed up and not known until the end time (:9).

Daniel 12:11-12-Halfway through the 7 years of the Tribulation, Antichrist will stand in the Temple and proclaim himself to be God. This is referred to as the “abomination of desolation” (:11).  He will stop all Temple sacrifices.  There will then be “” left before the return of Christ.  This speaks of the last 3½ years of the Tribulation.  The “1,335 days” will occur during the first days of the Millennium.  Those that are there will be “blessed” because during that time Christ will reign on earth.

Daniel 12:13-Daniel is told to go his way...and that he will eventually die...and then rise at the end of the age.  A great OT statement concerning the resurrection of the dead.


Prayer: Lord, our world is so broken.  From the days of Daniel until now…we’ve done nothing but fight and wage war with one another.  Then I come to the last two verses of Daniel.  There, You remind us that this world is not all that there is.  There is a life after death.  And that life will be “blessed”.  Please help me to keep that day in mind when I am going through difficult times in this day.

This entry was posted in Read thru the Bible and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a reply