Online Bible Commentary
Daniel 11:10 However his sons shall stir up strife, and assemble a multitude of great forces; and one shall certainly come and overwhelm and pass through; then he shall return to his fortress and stir up strife. 11 "And the king of the South shall be moved with rage, and go out and fight with him, with the king of the North, who shall muster a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into the hand of his enemy. 12 When he has taken away the multitude, his heart will be lifted up; and he will cast down tens of thousands, but he will not prevail. 13 For the king of the North will return and muster a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come at the end of some years with a great army and much equipment. 14 "Now in those times many shall rise up against the king of the South. Also, violent men of your people shall exalt themselves in fulfillment of the vision, but they shall fall. 15 So the king of the North shall come and build a siege mound, and take a fortified city; and the forces of the South shall not withstand him. Even his choice troops shall have no strength to resist. 16 But he who comes against him shall do according to his own will, and no one shall stand against him. He shall stand in the Glorious Land with destruction in his power. 17 He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do. And he shall give him the daughter of women to destroy it; but she shall not stand with him, or be for him. 18 After this he shall turn his face to the coastlands, and shall take many. But a ruler shall bring the reproach against them to an end; and with the reproach removed, he shall turn back on him. 19Then he shall turn his face toward the fortress of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found. 20 "There shall arise in his place one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom; but within a few days he shall be destroyed, but not in anger or in battle. (NKJV)
The time is 536 B.C. Daniel is about 84 years old. In this passage Daniel is treated to yet another vision from the Lord. Daniel is on the bank of the Tigris River, not far from his home in Babylon.
The vision is that of “a certain man” (10:5) who has the appearance of the Lord Jesus, as described in Revelation 1:13-16. Some scholars believe this was a preincarnate visit of Jesus, while others believe the “man” was an angel. Since the description of the “man” in 10:5-6 appears to match the description of Jesus in Revelation 1:13-16 this writer believes that this is a preincarnate visit of Jesus.
In this chapter, Jesus continues to minister to Daniel, through foretelling the history of Israel. He begins by telling the events from 539 B.C., until the temple is rededicated by Judas Maccabeus in 164 B.C., which was the first celebration of Hanukkah. This encompasses Daniel 11:1-35, and 375 years. Daniel 11:36-12:13, the end of the book, foretell of the end times.
In this passage, Jesus foretells the events of 226-175 B.C., covering 51 years. During this time the kingdoms of the North (Syria, including Babylon) and the South (Egypt, including Israel) are at war. The Ptolemy family rules Egypt, while the Seleucid family rules Syria. These are two of the four divisions of the Greek Empire established under the four generals of Alexander the Great upon his death.
The sons of Seleucus II of Syria “shall stir up strife, and assemble a multitude of great forces” (v. 10a). One son, Seleucus III (226-223 B.C.), “shall certainly come” to southern Israel, waging war (v. 10b). Another son, Antiochus III (223-187 B.C.) of Syria continues the aggression into Israel. In response, Ptolemy IV (221-203B.C.) of Egypt “moved with rage” and conquers Syria (v. 11).
Ptolemy IV kills “tens of thousands” Syrian troops, “but will not prevail” (v. 12). Fifteen years later Antiochus III of Syria comes with “a great army and much equipment” and attacks Egypt, under Ptolemy V (203-181 B.C.) (v. 13). “Many shall rise up against the king of the South”, Egypt, including Jewish rebels, “violent men” (v. 14). Syria takes the victory over Egypt (v. 15).
So, Syria takes possession of Israel, “the Glorious Land” in 198 B.C. Antiochus III of Syria gives his daughter Cleopatra (not The Cleopatra) to Ptolemy V as his wife, hoping to thus control Ptolemy V (v. 17a). However “she shall not stand with him”, (v. 17b) and instead helps her husband.
Antiochus III then attempts to capture Greece, which had been given to one of the other four generals under Alexander. However, he is defeated by the Romans in 191 and 190 B.C. (v. 18). Then Antiochus III of Syria returns and focuses on his own country (v. 19a). He is killed there when he tries to pillage the temple of Zeus (v. 19b).
Antiochus III is succeeded by Seleucus IV (187-175 B.C.). He imposes heavy taxes upon Israel, “the glorious kingdom” (v. 20a). He dies mysteriously, “not in anger or in battle” (v. 20b). Some say he was poisoned by his tax collector.
Israel was in the middle of these wars between Egypt and Syria. The period 226-175 B.C. was another turbulent time in the history of Israel. But they would prevail. They have prevailed through many difficult times, and many more are still ahead.
The incarnate Jesus was born of a Jewish woman. Even though they rejected Him as their Messiah, the Jews are His people. As Christians, we should support the nation of Israel.