Daniel 11:2-15

An Outline of the Third Kingdom

A Mighty King Stands

Dan 11:23: “And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia1; 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.”

NOTES: (1) A king is often used to represent an empire (see Dan 7:17). The word here translated as “in” can also be translated as “after”.

Ancient World: 331 BC

Alexander the Great stood up against the might of the Persian Empire, and within 8 years overthrew it to establish the expansive Greek Empire. He fundamentally changed society by spreading Greek ideas throughout the world including democracy, rationalism, materialism and scientific knowledge.

Modern Europe: 1798

The three empires following the Persian are those of Greece, Rome, and the Holy Roman Empire, after which a might king would stand.

Napoleon Bonaparte stood up against the Holy Roman Empire and within 11 years overthrew it to establish the Napoleonic Empire. He fundamentally changed society by spreading French revolutionary ideas based on Greek Philosophy throughout Europe including democracy, rationalism, materialism and scientific knowledge.

The Kingdom Split Up

Dan 11:4–5: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. And the king of the south 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.”

Ancient World: 323 – 250 BC 

Upon Alexander’s death on June 10, 323 BC his empire was split up between his generals and eventually consolidated into two main competing kingdoms, the Seleucid kingdom in the north encompassing Syria and Babylon and the Ptolemaic kingdom in the south encompassing Egypt and Palestine. For most of this period the Ptolemaic kingdom was the stronger of the two.

Modern Europe: 1815 – 1877

Upon Napoleon’s exile to St. Helena (dying soon after) his empire was dismantled into independent European states that eventually consolidated into two competing alliances, the Central Powers (Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary) and the Triple Entente (Britain, France, Russia) divided by their affinity to the old Holy Roman Empire. The British Empire (“one of his princes”) was the largest empire that had ever existed in the world.

A Peace Treaty

Dan 11:6And in the end of years1 they shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter2 of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: 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 her3, and he that strengthened her in these times.”

NOTES: The expressions (1) “At the end of years” literally means “a lifetime”; (2) “daughter” can be translated as “towns or villages” and (3) “He that begat her” can be translated as “He that she begat”

Ancient World: 249 BC

82 years after the rise of Alexander, a peace treaty was entered into where Antiochus II Theos, the Seleucid king would put away his wife Laodice and marry Bernice the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus. A few years latter Laodice returned and poisoned the king and had Bernice, her son and all her Egyptian attendants killed

 Modern Europe: 1878

80 years after the rise of Napoleon, a treaty known as the Treaty of Berlin was entered into whereby the kingdom of Serbia (“the king’s daughter”) which belonged to the Russian Empire was given over to the control of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. In 1914 Austria invaded Serbia and in the process and decimated a quarter of the population.

The Retaliation

Dan 11:7 – 9:But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail: And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.”
Ancient World: 246 – 241 BC

On ascending to the throne that same year, Bernice’s brother, Ptolemy Euergetes invaded the Seleucid kingdom seeking revenge for his sister’s death. Upon his victory he slew Laodice and carried away 40,000 talents (one tonne) of silver back to Egypt. This third Syrian war lasted  5 years.

 Modern Europe: 1914 – 1918

In response to the invasion of Serbia, Russia, a branch of Serbia’s Slavic roots invaded Austria, launching WWI. On gaining the victory, the triple entente exacted huge war reparations (100,000 tonnes of pure gold or ¾ of a trillion dollars) from Germany and Austria. WWI lasted 4 years.

The Son’s Revenge

Dan 11:10 – 11:But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress. And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.”
Ancient World: 219 – 217 BC

22 years after the end of the Third Syrian War the Seluecid king, Antiochus Magnus wanted revenge for Syria’s earlier defeat and launched the Fourth Syrian War retaking Seleucia and Syria and almost invaded Egypt. Philipator, the son of Ptolemy Euergetes, upset at his losses and raised a large army of over 70,000 men and destroyed the Syrian 65,000 man army in 217 BC at the battle of Raphia

 Modern Europe: 1944-1949

21 years after the end of WWI the resentment in Germany caused by the heavy reparations were exploited by Adolf Hitler to launched unprovoked invasions of many nations leading to the declaration of war on Germany by the allies. In total the Allies mobilized about 62 million men and women, the biggest war in the world has ever known.

 Many Cast Down

Dan 11:12  “And when he1 hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.

Notes: (1) It is unclear who “he” refers to; the king of the north or the king of the south. 

Ancient World: 217 BC

Philopator did not, however, follow up his success but became proud and chose to enjoy his success in luxury. According to the third book of Maccabees, Philopator started a persecution against the Jews, killing about 60,000 in Alexandria for not allowing him to enter the most holy place of the Jewish Temple.

Modern Europe: 1948

Germany’s successes during the first half of the war led Hitler to delusions of self-grandeur that led to the holocaust in which about 6,000,000 Jews perished. Instead of strengthening his vaunted Aryan race, this only served to weaken Germany and strengthen the resolve of the allies in its defeat.

 Fall of the Walled City

Dan 11:13 – 15:  “For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches. And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall. So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities1: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.

NOTE: (1) The expression “fenced cities” is actually singular in the original Hebrew


 Ancient World: 169 BC

Exactly 50 years after the start of the Fourth Syrian War Antiochus Epiphanes put together a large army and invaded Egypt. He took the walled city of Pelusium, key to the conquest of Egypt and conquered it all except Alexandria and crowned himself king of Egypt. The long conflict sapped the power of the kingdoms and Rome (“the robber of thy people”) now eclipsed them.

Modern Europe: 1989

Exactly 50 years after the start of WWII the final offensive in the cold war took place spearheaded by the Vatican in collaboration with the USA. “Much riches” were used in economic warfare to overthrow the Berlin wall & the iron curtain it epitomised. The Soviet Block’s vast military arsenal was powerless to prevent its fall and the USA rose as the world super power.

Time Line of the Events in Daniel 11:2-5
(click on the chart for higher resolution)

Dan 11:2-15 Time Line

Outline << Previous        Next >> Dan 11:16-31 


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