Jesus Christ Prison Ministry

DANIEL 11

Back to the Future

In Verse 15 we go back in time to verse 14 to see why the Jews revolted. “Then the king of the North will come and build up siege ramps and will capture a fortified city. The forces of the South will be powerless to resist; even their best troops will not have the strength to stand.”

 

“ANTIOCHUS IV, called Epiphanes (“the illustrious”) (c. 215-164 bc), king of Syria (175-164 bc), son of Antiochus III. From 171 to 168 bc, he was involved in a war against Egypt, defeating two Egyptian kings, Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VII. He captured Jerusalem, prohibited Judaism, and tried to establish the worship of Greek gods. Under the leadership of the Jewish priest Mattathias (died c. 166 bc) and his sons, the Maccabees, the Jews revolted (167-160 bc) and drove Antiochus from Jerusalem. Later he won victories over the Armenians and Persians.” Infopedia

As you can see from the account above, the fortified city to any Jew was Jerusalem. With the revolts of the Jews by the Maccabees, Jerusalem was recaptured for a while. But the revolt did not last. Even the Ptolemies who attempted to help the Jews were unable to do so.

 

Why is this chapter in the Bible? Because God is always concerned about His people. In order for the kings of the North (the Seleucids), and the kings of the South (the Ptolemies), to war against each other, they had to cross through the land of Judea, as you can see from the map. That involved the Jews. That is why God has it mentioned in Daniel. He wanted them to know what the future would hold and not to worry. All they had to do was just trust and obey Him. But instead, they took matters into their own hands and lost. The lesson is for us today. Trust God and obey Him and everything will turn out great. Take matters into our own hands and things will be disastrous.  

 

The Ptolemies became so weak, as the Bible said they would, that “to protect themselves against the Seleucids, they cultivated friendship with Rome. Thus Egypt was saved in 168 b.c., when Roman intervention forced Antiochus IV to withdraw from the Egyptian delta, but the final result was that Egypt tended to become more and more a Roman protectorate.” Collier

 

With the introduction of Roman power into the feud that was going on between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies, it was just a matter of time before it became the dominant factor in the area. Verse 16 tells us that the “invader will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy.”

 

There is a principle here I want you to understand. The Bible is using the terms “North” and “South” to describe two warring factions that involve the people of God. As these factions get taken over by other factions, the area of the world they involve grows and grows until by the end of Daniel 11 they encompass the whole earth. But the war is the same. The war entangles the people of God. Only the names change.

 

“Politically, the Middle East was divided between two states ruled by two of Alexander’s generals, the Ptolemies in Egypt and the SELEUCIDS in Syria and Mesopotamia. The constant strife between these two states and their internal weakness eventually led to the intervention of a rapidly rising power in the west: Rome. By 64 BC, Syria fell to the Romans, and, in 30 BC, Egypt was annexed, bringing to an end the Hellenistic kingdoms of the east. The Middle East, which had always been involved in the rivalries between two great powers, was now divided between the Roman Empire, which controlled its western portion around the Mediterranean, and the empire of the Parthians in Persia in the east”. Grolier