Daily Devotion

September 17, 2014

Part 1 . . .

As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance  (Daniel 12:13).

In Daniel 11 and 12 we read the angel’s monologue that addresses future events specific to kings and wars that were coming, as well as End Times events. In order to better understand the sequence of historical events, a verse-by-verse commentary, in a tabulated format, might be helpful. Note that the Scripture reference is on the left, with a corresponding commentary on the right.1

Verse               Comments

11:1 The angel supported Darius the Mede in his first year as king.
11:2 After Cyrus, the kings of Persia were: Ahasureus, Artaxerxes, Darius, and Xerxes, who trained a two-million-man army that conquered Greece.
11:3 The “mighty king” referred to is Alexander the Great.
11:4 Herein is a prophecy stating that Alexander will die in his prime; thereafter, his kingdom will be divided between four of his generals.
11:5 The southern king referred to is Ptolemy of Egypt, and the northern king is Seleucus of Syria, while sandwiched between these two warring nations lay Israel.
11:6-7 Egypt and Syria signed a peace treaty. To ensure peace, Ptolemy gave his daughter, Berenice, to Seleucus to be his wife. Seleucus divorced his wife and married Berenice. But, when Ptolemy died, Seleucus left Berenice for his former wife, who poisoned him, and had Berenice and her son killed. The former wife’s son then became the king of Syria.
11:8 To avenge his sister’s death, Berenice’s brother, who was now the king of Egypt, invaded, defeated, and plundered Syria, taking its gods, gold, and goods.
11:9-10 The Syrian king and his brothers then attacked Egypt.
11:11-12 Although Syria was defeated, once again, the king of Egypt did not take advantage of his victory by strengthening his position.
11:13-14 Syria attacked Egypt again, where Jew turned against Jew in order to help Syria.
11:15-16 Syria overcame Egypt, who was powerless to resist. The Beautiful Land is likely Israel.
11:17 The Syrian king gave his daughter, Cleopatra, to the Egyptian king. She, then, turned against Syria, and sided with Egypt. She also began to make political deals with Rome, which was a rising power.
11:18-19 The king of Syria then turned on Rome, was defeated, forced to pay huge taxes to Rome, and was killed when he attempted to plunder a temple for the taxes owed.
11:20 Subsequently, the son of the Syrian kings was mysteriously poisoned.
11:21 Antiochus Epiphanes became the next king of Syria; he used flattery and intrigue to gain the throne.
11:22-23 Antiochus killed anyone whom he deemed a threat to his position.
11:24 Antiochus also hated the Jews, killing and enslaving many of them.
11:25 Using a large and powerful army, the king of Egypt waged war with Syria, but did not prevail because of plots devised against him.
11:26-29 The two kings reach a tenuous agreement, whereupon the king of Syria returned home with great wealth, after which, he attacked Egypt again, but this time, was thwarted by the Roman navy.
11:30-31 Frustrated by the Roman defense, Antiochus (a symbol of the anti-Christ) lashed out at Israel and at God’s temple, and sacrificed a pig on the holy altar.
11:32 Angered by the pollution of the temple, Judas Maccabaeus, and other Jewish men, take revenge on Syria.

Note 1: Derived from R.C. Thomas’ commentary on Daniel, An Ancient Message for Modern Times; www.prophecyupdate.com.

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