Daniel 11 discusses the wars that happened between the king of the South (Egypt) and the king of the North (Syria) during the intertestamental period between Malachi and Matthew.
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This is a continuation of Daniel 11 King of the North and King of the South. In verse 9 “Seleucus attempted to invade Egypt. His fleet was lost in a storm, his forces were routed, and he was driven back to Syria in humiliating defeat.” (Phillips, John. Exploring the Book of Daniel: An Expository Commentary. [Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2004], 194)
10. The sons of Seleucus are being stirred up. They will prepare for war and assemble a great army. (NIV)
One of the sons, Seleucus Ceraunus “was killed in Asia Minor before the invasion, so Antiochus the Great overran Phoenicia and Palestine until he came up against the Egyptians at the Battle of Raphia and was thrashed by Ptolemy IV in about 218 B.C.” (Gangel, Kenneth O. Holman Old Testament Commentary. [Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2001], 299)
11. The kings of the North and South will fight each other.
“The battle resulted in a complete victory for Egypt.” (Walvoord, John F. Daniel. [Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2012], 335)
12. The king of the South will defeat the North.
“The prophecy was fulfilled that the multitude of the Syrians was given into the hand of the Egyptians. However, a peace had to be arranged because Antiochus had managed to escape.” (Walvoord, 335)
“Ptolemy owed no allegiance to the Geneva Convention, of course, so he slaughtered most of the troops he captured.” (Gangel, 300)
13. Although he was defeated the king of the North will return.
“For the next fourteen years Antiochus busied himself with nailing down all the nations in the eastern Mediterranean area and extending his borders as far as India and north as far as the Caspian Sea. Then in 203 B. C., Ptolemy Philopator and his queen died and Antiochus, sensing another opportunity headed south with a huge army fully equipped (NIV).” (Gangel, 300)
14. Many are fighting against the king of the south.
“Some of the more determined leaders saw in Antiochus a possible savior from the galling yoke of Egypt, with the result that some of the Jews threw in their lot with Antiochus. To do so was not only the result of unbelief and apostasy but also a great folly because the real foe of Israel was to the north.” (Phillips, 197)
“The Jews who threw in their lot with Antiochus are referred to as ‘the robbers of thy people.’” (Phillips, 197)
“The early battles were fought not on Egyptian soil but also in northern Palestine. That makes it easier for us to understand how the Jews could be involved.” (Gangel, 300)
15. This time the King of the North will defeat the king of the South.
“The fortified city (NIV) of verse 15 was likely Sidon on the Mediterranean Sea, so Egypt itself was not yet in danger.” (Gangel, 300)
“The allusion to ‘the forces of the south shall not stand’ (ESV) is to the unsuccessful attempt by three Egyptian leaders, Eropas, Menacles, and Damoyenus, to rescue the besieged Scopas from Sidon.” (Walvoord, 337)
16. The King of the North will do what he pleases.
“Once Antiochus had repossessed Coele-Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, no one could prevent his doing whatever he willed.” (Phillips, 198)
“Antiochus made it (Palestine) a base from which to harass Egypt. Because his troops had to live off the land, they plundered Palestine unmercifully. So ‘by his hand’ the land was ‘consumed’ or ‘laid waste.’” (Phillips, 198)
The glorious land is Israel.
17. “This brings us to about 198 or 195 B. C. when Antiochus the Great made a treaty with Egypt and have his daughter Cleopatra to Ptolemy Epiphanes in Marriage.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume III: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 597)
Because “Cleopatra took the side of her boy-husband. She even went so far as to send an envoy to congratulate the Romans on their victories over her father, to urge them to expel him from Greece, and to carry the war to Asia. Thus, Antiochus was foiled in his plot.” (Phillips 199)
18. Antiochus looked to the isles which is Greece.
“But he did not count on the Greeks appealing to Rome for help.” (Gangel, 301)
He was defeated. “As he retreated east the Romans followed him and with a force of thirty thousand and defeated Antiochus’s seventy thousand somewhere west of Sardis.” (Gangel, 301)
“Antiochus then turned his attention to the threat from the west and attempted to equal the conquests of Alexander the Great by conquering Greece. But he was notably unsuccessful, being defeated in 191 B. C. at Thermopylae north of Athens and again in 189 B. C. at Magnesia on the Maeander River southeast of Ephesus by soldiers of Rome and Pergamum under the leadership of the Roman general Scipio. This fulfilled the prophecies of verses 18-19, and from a historic viewpoint, was important in removing from Europe the control by Asiatic governments. This paved the way for Rome’s later expansion.” (Walvoord, 338)
19. The Romans fined Antiochus “2,550 talents toward the expenses of the war he had caused and levied an annual tribute to Rome of one thousand talent for the next twelve years.
A few months later, as Antiochus was crossing his eastern provinces to raise money for the tribute, he tried to plunder the temple of Bel (the Elymaian Zeus). Furious local inhabitants killed both him and his attendants. So, as Scripture says, he stumbled and fell and was found no more.” (Phillips, 199)
20. Seleucus Philopator (187-176) was on the throne facing a large debt because of the wars of his father. He planned to take the money from Israel.
“His tax collector, Heliodorus, intended to invade the temple of Yahweh but was stopped by a vision of angels assaulting him. Instead of finishing his mission, he returned home to assassinate Seleucuc Philopator.” (Gangel, 301)
Scripture quotations from the Holy Bible, King James Version.
Quotations taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Gangel, Kenneth O. Holman Old Testament Commentary. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2001
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume III: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
Phillips, John. Exploring the Book of Daniel: An Expository Commentary. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2004
Walvoord, John F. Daniel. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2012