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The Daniel 11 Prophecy And The Antichrist


By Joel Richardson – “Among the many prominent end-time passages of the Bible, one of the clearest passages that proves the Antichrist and his coming armies will arise from the Middle East, is Daniel 11. In this chapter, a prophecy is given that begins with the historical Medo-Persian empire and concludes with the death of the Antichrist.

A large portion of Daniel’s prophecy (vv. 20-34) is focused upon the historical conflict between the infamous Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the king of the Seleucid Kingdom, who is called ‘the King of the North’ and King Ptolemy VI, the king of the Ptolemaic Kingdom who is called ‘the King of the South.’

The Seleucid Kingdom in the north included the region of modern-day Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran and even Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Ptolemaic Kingdom in the south ruled Egypt and portions of modern-day Libya and Sudan.

All scholars agree that Antiochus IV Epiphanes, in the north, is perhaps the most significant type of the Antichrist in the whole Bible.

In the later portion of Daniel’s prophecy, the historical events and wars that took place between Antiochus IV in the north and Ptolemy VI in the south bleed into a powerful end-time prophecy concerning the Antichrist (the King of the North) and Egypt (the King of the South). In fact, this chapter is among one of the clearest ‘slam dunks’ for the view that the Antichrist will come forward out of the Middle East and not a revived Roman or European kingdom.

Recognizing the highly problematic nature of this passage for the European-centered view, however, some teachers, in more modern times, have developed a view which holds that the King of the North is not a reference to the Antichrist, but instead is his enemy. Careful consideration of the text, however, reveals that this view simply doesn’t make any sense, as it turns the flow of the entire prophecy completely on its head, casting Antiochus IV as both a type of the Antichrist in verses 20-34, and then suddenly as a type of the Antichrist’s greatest enemy in verses 40-45. This view also takes the flow of the entire chapter, wherein the King of the North and the King of the South are historical enemies, and suddenly casts them as allies. This view fundamentally violates the clear flow of the entire prophecy in multiple ways.

But despite the popularity of this modern interpretation, a survey of views on this passage, from the very earliest days of the church until modern times, shows that the vast majority of responsible interpreters throughout church history have always understood the last-days King of the North to be a reference to the Antichrist. Consider the following brief summary of Christian leaders and theologians, from the earliest centuries of Christianity to modern times, who have affirmed the notion that Daniel’s ‘King of the North’ is none other than the Middle Eastern Antichrist:

Hippolytus of Rome (170–235), one of the most important theologians of the second and third centuries. According to tradition, Hippolytus was a disciple of Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, a disciple of John the Apostle who wrote extensively about the end times.

Victorinus (d. 333), an early Christian bishop and martyr. His commentary on the book of Revelation is the oldest complete commentary on Revelation in our possession.

Lactantius (240–320), a well-known early Christian apologist in the third and fourth centuries.

Jerome (347–420), the renowned Latin theologian and historian of the fourth and fifth centuries.

Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393–457), the highly influential author, theologian and bishop of Cyrrhus, Syria, in the fifth century.

S.P. Tregelles (1813–1875), an English biblical scholar, textual critic and theologian. Tregelles is most well-known for translating Wilhelm Gesenius’ famous Hebrew Chaldee lexicon into English.

C.F. Keil (1813–1890), the celebrated German Hebraist and commentator who co-authored a commentary on the Old Testament with Frederick Delitzsch.

Clarence Larkin (1850–1924), an American Baptist pastor, Bible teacher and author of the classic work on dispensational eschatology, ‘Dispensational Truth.’

Arthur W. Pink (1886–1952), an English evangelist and biblical scholar well-known for his book ‘The Antichrist.’

G.H. Lang (1874–1958), one of the foremost dispensational premillennialist biblical scholars of his day.

F.F. Bruce (1910–1990), another biblical scholar of the highest calibre who needs no introduction.

Edward J. Young, (1907–1968), former professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary.

Gleason L. Archer Jr. (1916–2004), another well-known and deeply respected biblical scholar and theologian, known as one of the chief proponents of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.

Steven R. Miller Ph.D., professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, author of the New American Commentary on the Book of Daniel.

John Goldingay, Ph.D., professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, author of the Word Biblical Commentary on the Book of Daniel.

Of course, this is only a partial list. Many other pastors, teachers, commentators, scholars and prophecy students alike could certainly be cited.

Some may be surprised to learn that so many highly respected Christian luminaries from across the centuries have supported this Middle Eastern view of the Antichrist. But while numerous Christian theologians and teachers have understood and recognized various elements of the Islamic Antichrist theory, never before in history has this view of prophecy ever been so thoroughly and systematically developed as it is today. In my new book, ‘Mideast Beast: The Scriptural Case for an Islamic Antichrist,’ I make every effort to present to the reader a careful and balanced articulation of this deeply relevant prophetic view in a scholarly yet very readable fashion. It is essential that all true Bereans and students of prophecy take the time to consider what so many other great Christian leaders and theologians of both ancient and modern times have recognized from Scripture.” Source – WND.

  1. iamnotashamedofthegospelofchrist
    08/02/2012 at 8:35 PM

    Great Book! I just finished it.

    Like

  2. 08/09/2012 at 6:25 PM

    If the “king of the north” is the Antichrist, and the “king of the south” is Egypt, why does Daniel 11:42 state “‘Egypt’ will not escape”? Verse 40 already has stated that he (the Antichrist?) will collide with the “king of the south” (Egypt under this view) and will …overflow them and pass through.” If verse 40 tells us that Egypt is overrun why say the same thing in verse 42? Verse 42 becomes redundant and unnecessary if “king of the south” in verse 40 also means Egypt in verse 42.

    I cannot help but wonder if we are still missing things in this passage, particularly when applying it in the Islamic Paradigm. For example, if the Antichrist is of Muslim origin, then the only way he will attack Egypt is if Egypt is of a sect other than the Antichrist. That is, since Egypt is Sunni; the Antichrist must be Shia. Even if you interpret “king of the north” as Antichrist, he still must be of a different sect than Eygpt in order for the passage to have meaning.

    One way the passage might work is:
    1. “King of the South” (v 40) is Arabs led by Saudi Arabia’s royal family (the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) including six Sunni Arab nations)
    2. “King of the North” is European nations. They are representative of Rome in Antiochus’ day that humiliated him into retreat (“ships of Kittim” Dan 11:30). (Antiochus was challenged by the Romans and abandoned Alexandria in humiliation around 167 BC. To quote Steven Miller, “He was handed a letter from the Roman Senate ordering him to leave Egypt or face war with Rome…. Well aware of the might of Rome, …, the Syrian king stood in humiliated silence for a brief interval and then acquiesced to the demand. Antiochus withdrew from Egypt to Antioch in utter humiliation.” (Steven Miller, Daniel, New American Commentary, p. 301). This takes the view that king of the south and king of north are allies against Antichrist in the end-times.
    3. “Egypt” is Egypt (v 43). President Morsi and SCAF, the military regime of former Mubarak that is in transition w Morsi, is more likely the fit rather than Morsi’s and the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is overrun (v 43)
    4. The “king” (v 36) if he is the Antichrist, is Shiah Iran and its leaders, i.e., Ayatollah Khameini, supported by Russia (v 39, the “help of a foreign god”). If he is the Antichrist then he is al-Mahdi.

    If the above four are inserted into Daniel 11, the scenario might play out like this: Shiah Iran (the “king”) initiates the conflict and gains dominion over much of the region (v 36, he “prospers until the indignation is finished”). The GCC Arabs (king of the south) stand against Shiah Iran (Russia is ally), but are overcome. Egypt stands against him but are overrun and their precious assets are lost to him (the Suez canal). The European nations, along with their military might (v 40) stand against him but to no avail — he continues to storm against Middle East countries and overflow them and pass through them (including Egypt and the Arab states, but not necessarily Europe). He then makes his headquarters (pitches his tents) on Mount Zion (Temple Mount) (v 45). Rumors from the East (Afghanistan, Pakistan, perhaps China) and the North (America?) disturb him; yet, he still goes forth to destroy many (v 44). Nuclear holocaust happens.

    Any thoughts, ICA?

    Blessings.
    Jack

    Like

  3. ICA
    08/09/2012 at 10:36 PM

    Jack Smith, “If the “king of the north” is the Antichrist, and the “king of the south” is Egypt, why does Daniel 11:42 state “‘Egypt’ will not escape”? Verse 40 already has stated that he (the Antichrist?) will collide with the ‘king of the south” (Egypt under this view) and will …overflow them and pass through.’ If verse 40 tells us that Egypt is overrun why say the same thing in verse 42? Verse 42 becomes redundant and unnecessary if ‘king of the south’ in verse 40 also means Egypt in verse 42.”

    Hi Jack. Something that we often see in Scripture is a description of a scene or event, with the author then revisiting the passage to reiterating what was said in a different way or with a different focus or with additional details. I would contend that this is likely what we’re seeing here as well. Daniel 11:36 gives one large overarching view of the “king” that does “according to his will” from the time his rule begins right up until “the indignation be accomplished.” Verses 37-41 then jump back to give us additional details regarding this “king” — he honors no god other than his own, succeeds in initial military campaigns, rules over many, “king of the south” comes against him, he responds with overwhelming force and succeeds. Verse 42 simply reiterates the point that despite Egypt’s resistance, it does not escape. Verse 43 gives us an indication of how successful he was. Verses 44-45 bring us to his end when “the indignation be accomplished” per verse 36. Then Daniel 12 jumps back to again focus on another aspect of 11:36, namely how the people of God are affected during this time.

    Jack Smith, “I cannot help but wonder if we are still missing things in this passage, particularly when applying it in the Islamic Paradigm. For example, if the Antichrist is of Muslim origin, then the only way he will attack Egypt is if Egypt is of a sect other than the Antichrist. That is, since Egypt is Sunni; the Antichrist must be Shia. Even if you interpret ‘king of the north’ as Antichrist, he still must be of a different sect than Eygpt in order for the passage to have meaning.”

    Not necessarily. Egypt’s ruling military council is still largely in control today, even stripping the Egyptian President of a number of powers just prior to Morsi’s inauguration. So who should be considered the “king” right now — the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi, or the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces?

    Regarding the rest of your thoughts, I asked Joel Richardson for his input since he is the original author of the article. Joel stated that:

    “For me the identity of the two parties (not three, this ‘three king’ view did not appear until about a hundred years ago, and in my opinion was developed for one reason: to get around the clear implications of the text, namely a Middle Eastern Antichrist) is simply rooted in the clear and well established pattern throughout the entirety of the passage, (actually going back to Daniel 8). The historical regions highlighted will likely remain somewhat similar. At the very least, loosely Seleucid and Ptolemaic. Anything beyond this must be acknowledged as being mere speculation outside of the text. If we see this chapter as paralleling the multiple ‘Assyrian’ prophecies, as well as the big momma: Ezekiel 38, 39 – essentially the Armageddon of the Old Testament, then I see no reason to look elsewhere. As for why a northern alliance would engage a southern both of which are Sunni, it is as simple as regional ambitions. Two wanna be alpha dogs fighting for official top dog status. I think it will supersede mere sectarianism. The history [of] the Islamic world is rife with this. But again, as always, God knows best, and time will tell.”

    The situation is so fluid in the Middle East right now that there’s probably any number of scenarios that we haven’t yet considered. “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch …”

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