Online Bible Commentary
The End Times
Daniel 11:36"Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. 37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. 38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. 40 "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. 44 But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. 45 And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him. (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. At the time of this vision Daniel is on the bank of the Tigris River, not far from his home in Babylon. The vision is given to Daniel in the form of a preincarnate visit from Jesus.
Daniel’s vision has foretold events in the history of Israel from 539 B.C. through the Maccabean revolt of 164 B.C. and the institution of Hanukkah. Now the prophetic vision leaps to the end times.
A new “king” who does “according to his own will” is introduced (v. 36a). He exalts himself “above every god” and speaks “blasphemies against the God of gods” (v. 36b), just as the “beast” from the sea did in Revelation 13:6. He prospers until “what has been determined shall be done”, the second coming of Christ (v. 36c). This new “king” is the Antichrist.
The Antichrist holds no “regard” for and exalts himself above “the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor…any god” (v. 37). The Antichrist could be a Jewish atheist since “his fathers” worshiped the Messiah, and he has no “regard” for “any god”. The reference to “the desire of women” could be the Messiah since all the Jewish women of the day desired to give birth to the Messiah.
The Antichrist honors “a god of fortresses; and establishes a god which his fathers did not know” (v. 38a). The phrase “establishes a god which his fathers did not know” would eliminate a leader of Islam as the Antichrist. A god, an “image of the beast” (Rev. 13:14) is erected. He proclaims himself as god. The Antichrist rules over nations, fortresses, and honors himself with “gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things” (v. 38b).
He rules “over many” and divides “the land for gain” (v. 39) would indicate a political authority, as well as a spiritual authority. The Antichrist is further identified as “the king of the north” (v. 40). The Antichrist comes not only from the north but also from “the sea” (Rev. 13:1). The “north” could mean north of the Mediterranean Sea, such as Rome. The Antichrist ushers in a revived Roman Empire (Dan. 7:7), speculating that he is the “king” of Rome, perhaps a Pope who ushers in a one world religion.
At the end times a “king of the south” attacks the Antichrist (v. 40a). This is likely a reference to a Christian leader who leads Christians, the “saints” of Revelation 13:7, with whom the Antichrist wages war. He enters “countries” and overwhelms the Christians (v. 40b).
The Antichrist then enters “the Glorious Land”, Israel, and many other “countries shall be overthrown”, including “Egypt”, Libya, and Ethiopia (vv. 41a-43). However, these countries “shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon” (v. 41b), suggesting that these are lands already aligned with him.
The Antichrist is troubled by “news from the east and the north” and he attacks with “great fury to destroy and annihilate many” (v. 44), two-thirds of the Jews (Zech. 13:8-9). Then he plants his “tents” between the Mediterranean and Jerusalem, on Mount Zion (v. 45a). There all the nations will gather (Zech 14:2) for Armageddon (Rev. 16:13-16). Then, after Israel calls out to the Messiah, He will return (Mt. 23:37-39) and deliver them, destroying the Antichrist, who has no help (v. 45b).
End times prophecy is always hard to understand. If God had wanted us to know the “whens” and the “hows” He would have made it simple, like the Gospel message. The important thing is not what will happen in the end times but what will happen in our end time. Christians know they will go to Heaven. Now is the time, if you have not yet made your decision for Christ.