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|The Daniel PROPHECY of Chapter 11|
The Longest, Most detailed Prophecy in the Bible
*Read article the Dead Sea Scrolls, to confirm that the prophecy was given before events were fulfilled. No man can foretell the future except he be inspired by God, such were the prophets.
Next we come to the detailed prophecy of Daniel chapter 11. It is one of the most amazing prophecies in the Bible. It is most specific, describing historical events, up to the present, in more detail that any other prophecy. It is the longest prophecy in the Bible.
The prelude is found in the 10th chapter of the book of Daniel. The prophecy came to Daniel in the third year of the reign of Cyrus, king of the Persian Empire (Dan. 10:1). A "man," apparently the archangel Gabriel (Dan. 9:21), appears before Daniel, to make him understand what shall befall God's people in these "latter days" (10:14).
The first verse of the 11th chapter is a continuation from the last verse of the 10th chapter. The angel says to Daniel, "Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will" (Dan. 11:2-3).
Actually there were 12 more kings in the Persian Empire, but only the first four following Cyrus were of importance for the purpose of this prophecy. They were Cambyses, pseudo-Smerdis, Darius and Xerxes. It was the last, or Xerxes, who was the richest of all and stirred up war with Greece.
Then King Phillip of Macedonia planned a great war to conquer the Persian Empire, with an army made up mostly of Grecians. He died before the plans were completed. But his son, Alexander the Great, took over his plans, and invaded Persia. He met the Persian army at the battle of Issus, 333 B.C. (Dan. 8:2, 5-6). Then he swept down into Egypt, and then to a final crushing defeat of the Persian Empire at the Battle of Arbella, 331 B.C., after which Alexander marched on a conquest clear to India, sweeping all before him.
Notice now verse 4 of the prophecy: "And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those."
How marvelously how accurately that came to pass. We quote from one of the authoritative English-language histories published in the last century, A Manual of Ancient history (Student series) by Rawlinson: "cut off unexpectedly in the vigor of early manhood [the 33rd year of his age, June 323 B.C.], he [Alexander] left no inheritor, either of his power or his projects" (p.237). The Empire was left leaderless and in confusion, but out of this emerged, by the year 301 B.C., four divisions, just as prophesied, as a result of a division of the Empire into four divisions by Alexander's general. They were:
1. Ptolemy (Soter), ruling Egypt, part of Syria and Judea.
2. Seleucus (Nicator), ruling Syria, Babylonia and territory east to India.
3. Lysimachus, ruling Asia Minor.
4. Cassander, ruling Greece and Macedonia.
Thus the prophecy of verse 4 fulfilled to the letter.
The "King of the North" and the "King of the South"
Now notice what follows. From here the prophecy foretells the activities only of two of these divisions: Egypt, called "king of the south," because it is south of Jerusalem; and Syrian kingdom, the king of the north, just north of judea. It is because the Holy Land passed back and forth between those two divisions, and because their different wars were principally over possession of Judea, that the prophecy is concerned with them. Here is verse 5:
"And the king of the south [Egypt] shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion." In history, we learn that the original Ptolemy I, called Soter, became strong and powerful, developing Egypt beyond the great dreams of Alexander. One of his princes, or generals, Seleucus Nicator, also became strong and powerful. And, in 312 B.C., taking advantage of Ptolemy's being tied up in war, he established himself in Syria, and assumed the diadem as king.
Verse 6 says, "And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement [margin, "rights" or "equitable conditions," or "marriage union"]: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times."