DANIEL 11: ROMAN INVADERS
DANIEL 11: ROMAN INVADERS
“The dynasty of Herod was a family of Idumaean Jews who ruled various regions in Palestine as client kings or governors under Rome from 37 BC to AD 70. Herod the Great and Herod Antipas figure prominently in the Bible. The former ordered the slaughter of the HOLY INNOCENTS at the time of Christ’s birth, and the latter executed JOHN THE BAPTIST.
“Herod the Great’s grandfather and father, both named Antipater, were governors of the province of Idumaea who rose to power during the waning days of the MACCABEES. Following the conquest (66-63 BC) of Syria-Palestine by the Romans, Herod’s father, d. 43 BC, through skilled diplomacy, achieved Roman citizenship and appointment as procurator (principal administrative official) of Judea. Herod the Great, b. c.73 BC, was made king of Judea by the Romans and ruled from Jerusalem after 37 BC. An imperious king and capable general, Herod promoted Hellenization among the Jews. He founded the city of CAESAREA and rebuilt much of Jerusalem, including the Temple. He was notoriously cruel, however; he executed three of his sons and his second wife.” Grolier
As you can see, Rome became the “super power” of the world, and of Israel. The house of Herod established himself in the “Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy.” He did. He even used his power to destroy Jesus. But let’s go back to how all this took place.
Verse 17 says that the Roman Empire would make an alliance with the king of the South by marrying a daughter of the king of the South, but that the plans would not succeed. Did that happen? Of course. The Bible is always right.
“CLEOPATRA, more precisely, Cleopatra VII (c. 69-30 bc), ill-fated queen of Egypt (51-30 bc), celebrated for her love affairs with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Cleopatra was the daughter of Ptolemy XI Auletes, king of Egypt (c. 112-51 bc). On her father’s death in 51 bc Cleopatra, then about 17 years old, and her brother, Ptolemy XII (63-47 bc), a child of about 12 years, succeeded jointly to the throne of Egypt with the provision that they should marry. In the third year of their reign Ptolemy, encouraged by his advisers, assumed sole control of the government and drove Cleopatra into exile. She promptly gathered an army in Syria but was unable to assert her claim until the arrival at Alexandria of Julius Caesar, who became her lover and espoused her cause. He was for a time hard pressed by the Egyptians but ultimately triumphed, and in 47 bc Ptolemy XII was killed. Caesar proclaimed Cleopatra queen of Egypt.
“Cleopatra was then forced by custom to marry her younger brother, Ptolemy XIII (59-44 bc), then about 11 years old. After settling their joint government on a secure basis, Cleopatra went to Rome, where she lived as Caesar’s mistress. She gave birth to a son, Caesarion (47-30 bc), later Ptolemy XIV; it is believed that Caesar was his father.” Infopedia
“Under Caesar, Rome controlled all of Italy, Gaul, Spain, Numidia, Macedonia, Greece, Palestine, Egypt, and virtually all of the Mediterranean islands”. Grolier
Then the verse goes on to say that “a commander will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back upon him.” This word “insolence” in the NIV is a play on words, in Hebrew, on the word “dagger”. Now you will understand the historical account better.
“In 44 BC, Caesar, likening himself to Alexander the Great, began to plan the conquest of Parthia. Fearing that he would become an absolute king, many whom he had earlier pardoned conspired to murder him. The conspirators, led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius CASSIUS LONGINUS, stabbed him (with a dagger) at a meeting of the Senate in Pompey’s theater on Mar. 15 (the Ides of March), 44 BC. Falling at the foot of Pompey’s statue, Caesar addressed Brutus in Greek: ‘Even you, lad?’” Grolier Verse 19 tells of his stumble and his fall, “to be seen no more.” In Verse 20, we are told that his “successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor.”
“Augustus, b. Sept. 23, 63 BC, d. Aug. 19, AD 14, was the first Roman emperor (27 BC-AD 14). Named Gaius Octavius, he was the son of Gaius Octavius, a Roman senator, and Atia, the niece of Julius CAESAR. Augustus was a title of honor conferred on him in 27 BC by the Senate. Octavius was only 18 years old when Caesar was assassinated (Mar. 15, 44 BC). In his will, Caesar adopted Octavius, whose official name then became Gaius Julius Caesar. This did not give Octavian (as modern historians call him) any special privileges, but he was able to use the magic of Caesar’s name to win over Caesar’s veterans.” Grolier
“His official name became Imperator Caesar Augustus, and he was called Augustus (the Exalted). In 23 he received the tribunician power for life and assumed in this way the role of protector of the Roman people. He also received the right to intervene in those provinces administered by the Senate. In 12 BC he became high priest (pontifex maximus), the head of Roman state religion, and in 2 BC he received the title ‘Father of His Country.’” Grolier
Augustus died, as the Bible says, “not in anger or in battle” but quietly in sleep from an illness. Verse 21 tells us that he would “be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty.” Did this happen? Yes, the next ruler was Tiberius who did not come from royal line. Augustus “was succeeded by his adopted son, Tiberius.” Compton’s “In 12 BC, Tiberius was forced to marry Augustus’s daughter, Julia. In the event of Augustus’s death he was to act as tutor of Augustus’s grandsons by Julia’s previous marriage. Tiberius resented his role, and from 6 BC to AD 2 he lived in retirement in Rhodes. After the premature deaths of the grandsons, Augustus adopted (AD 4) Tiberius and recognized him as his successor.” Grolier
Not only was he adopted, but the Bible says that he would be “contemptible” as well. “Tiberius is remembered as a monster and tyrant. Historians describe him as a man who had practiced every imaginable vice and who tortured and killed with ferocity.” Compton’s
“Old, ridden with disease, and physically repulsive, Tiberius became mean and cruel. He built for himself palaces with prisons, torture rooms, and places of execution. Eventually he had Sejanus murdered by Macro, the new head of the Praetorian Guard. The last years of the emperor’s life reached a peak of cruelty.” Compton’s
The section of verse 21 which states that “he will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue” could refer to the following.
“In ad 26 Tiberius left Rome and withdrew to Campania, and the following year went to the island of Capreae (modern Capri), leaving Rome under the power of Lucius Aelius Sejanus (d. AD 31), the prefect of the Praetorian Guard. Finally realizing that Sejanus was trying to seize the imperial power, Tiberius had him and his supporters put to death in ad 31.” Infopedia
“A scheming and suspicious ruler, Tiberius instituted a reign of terror, especially after 23, when Sejanus, prefect of the Praetorian guard, became his chief advisor. Numerous senators, and also members of the family of his nephew Germanicus CAESAR, were accused of treason and executed; in 31 Sejanus met the same fate.” Grolier
Verse 22 reads more accurately, “And the arms of the flood are overflowed from before him, and are broken; and also the leader of the covenant.” Young’s Literal Translation
This is an interesting verse. You see, Tiberius is the leader of the government that put Jesus, the “leader of the covenant” to death. It was the Roman Empire, the government that ruled the world, that put Jesus, the ruler of the universe, on a cross. As it broke the body of Jesus, so it (he) too would be broken. “Pontius Pilate, the fifth Roman procurator (governor) of Judea (AD 26-36), condemned Jesus Christ to death. Appointed under Emperor Tiberius, he also had jurisdiction over Samaria and part of Idumea.” Grolier
“In March of AD 37 Tiberius became ill. When it appeared he would recover, Macro smothered him with a pile of blankets on March 16.” Compton’s With this verse, a change takes place, a change so profound that it is easy to miss. Let me give you a little history in order to help you understand what is happening. God is only concerned with events that affect His children. He really doesn’t care to meddle in the affairs of the wicked, they can do what they want. As Jesus said, “Let the dead bury the dead.” But when the wicked start to meddle with His people, then His wrath is activated. Before the flood, the world became so wicked that it was affecting His people. God told Noah He was going to wipe out the earth because of its wickedness. Therefore He had Noah build an Ark to escape. Next, Sodom became so wicked it was affecting His people. Therefore, He sent His angels to destroy it and bring out His children. Egypt became so wicked that it was affecting His people. Therefore He sent His angel to destroy all the first born and to bring out His children. The Canaanites became so wicked that they were affecting His children. Therefore He used His people, the Jewish nation, to destroy them. When the Jewish nation became too wicked, God used the Babylonians to humble them. But the Babylonians became proud. Then God used the Medes and the Persians to humble them and set His people free. The Persians became proud and God sent the Greeks to humble them. They also became proud and began to mistreat the people of God. God sent the Romans to humble them. As the Romans helped the Jews, God allowed the Roman Empire to expand as no other nation had. But when the Roman Empire, in partnership with the Jews, killed His Son, that started the death spiral for the Roman Empire. It began to fall apart and lasted only another three hundred years before being dismembered. Today we can see the same happening, not only in America, but around the world. America was raised up to protect God’s Protestants. But now, America is turning against God and His truth. It only took three hundred years after the death of Christ for the Romans to fall apart. America, at the time of this writing, is 239 years old. How soon before it too falls apart? Can you see it happening today? This verse, verse 22, is the dividing line between the Roman Empire and the next empire that would be used by the devil to do his bidding. The death of the “prince of the covenant” (NIV, vs 22) divides history. God is no longer concerned with the Romans or the Jewish nation. In His time they have already been destroyed. Now He wants to let His people know what the next empire would do to His people, the Christians. We must define “His people” so we know what we are looking for. His people have always been those who “obey what I command.” His people are those who go out “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” John 14:15; Matthew 28:20. His people are not a “church” or any earthly organization. From Adam to Noah, Noah to Abraham, Abraham to Moses, Moses to David, David to the prophets and the prophets to Jesus. From Jesus through His disciples to us. The gospel has always been the same. The teaching of righteousness has always been the same: Stop sinning, Be perfect and Keep the Ten Commandments to “get” (earn) eternal life. This includes the keeping of the 7th day Saturday Sabbath. When the Jewish nation ceased to teach that message, and killed their God, it was taken from them and given to the men and women in the world of every nation who would accept it. That is why Paul says that the Gentiles (you and me) are to be “grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,…”. Romans 11:17. All Christians, if they are true Christians, are to become spiritual Jews, teaching the same righteousness that God gave the Jews to teach to the world. Hebrews tells us that “we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith (works).” Hebrews 4:2. But in Daniel 11, verse 23, we see another power coming up that would be the anti-Christ (“anti” means “in place of”) and would try to destroy the real Christian gospel by replacing it with one of its own. In verse 23 we jump almost 300 years to about the year 325. As you will notice from the beginning of this chapter, God is only concerned with the major events. He did not provide a play by play account. He is only interested in those earth shaking events that would be recorded down through history for us to verify that He was correct and knows the future. Rome was falling apart. It was no longer to be the power of concern. Another power was rising that would take the place of Rome. The only difference being that in place of a localized, civil power, this was to be a worldwide civil and spiritual power. This power was seen by Paul when he stated in his letter to the Thessalonians, “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7. John saw it when he stated, “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” 1 John 2:18. One of those antichrist was his own student, Ignatius, who developed the church system as we have it today and substituted the 7th-day Sabbath for the pagan 1st-day Sunday. This will be discussed later.
“Anti” means “against”. But if I stand “in place of” something, that means, I am against it by taking its place. Satan was working to build a parallel religion that would replace true Christianity. It would be so close to the real thing that if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived. This counterfeit was at work in Paul’s day. But who was holding him back?