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Notes for

Daniel Chapter Eleven

in two parts

Section 1


1. Proverbs 14:34 It is written:

Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

These verses tell us how righteousness exalts a nation – its leaders can be shown what is the right thing to do – if they have no sinful pride which forbids them to listen to "Wisdom". Great individuals from the kingdom of heaven such as Jesus and Gabriel are constantly working with kings, statesmen, politicians and even local groups in an effort to guide them in making the right decisions based on righteousness.

Some other non-Jewish kings God was able to help are,

Abimelech, king of Gerah ......... Genesis 20:1-6

Pharaoh Necho ......................... 2 Chronicles 35:20-21

Nebuchadnezzar ...................... Jeremiah 27:6

Cyrus ........................................ Isaiah 44:28

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2 ..

"divided toward the four winds"

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2a. Esther 1:1-4 Gabriel knew his future!

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces [conquered countries]:) that in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace, in the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him: when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even a hundred and eighty days [6 months].

The last great king of Persia that Gabriel refers to was Ahasuerus (also known as Xerxes). He is the king mentioned in the story of Esther and reigned from 486 - 465BC. It was he who attacked Europe in the interval between his divorce from Vashti and his marriage to Esther. This made the Greeks unite against him which caused Alexander to rise to glory and bring the Greeks onto the stage of history.

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3. Daniel 8:21-22 A repeat of some prophetic details

And the rough goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

Alexander arose to power about 336BC. After his death his brother and sons were soon murdered and the fight for succession began.

"four winds" = the north, south, east, and west partitions of the empire. Alexander’s leading generals were Lysimachus in Asia Minor (Turkey), Cassander in Greece, Seleucus in Syria and Babylon, and Ptolemy in Egypt. By warfare and amalgamation they soon became just two - north and south.

The king of the east took over north and west also and soon became known as the king of north.

north = Greece/Assyria/BabylonThis became a symbol of the false religious systems

south = Egypt - This became the symbol for atheism/political states

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Spec 4.

Matthew 12:24-28 This is why Satan’s original idea of a kingdom alongside God’s cannot work

But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow [Jesus] does not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: and if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come to you.

Satan’s kingdom is divided against itself which is why it will ultimately fall. Even while trying to unite, everyone still wants to be boss (a Baal). Satan has quite a time trying to control them as we shall see.

Mark 10:35-41 Even some of the disciples wanted to be "BOSS"

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come to Him, saying, Master, we would that You should do for us whatever we shall desire. And He said to them, What would you that I should do for you? They said to him, Grant to us that we may sit, one on Your right hand, and the other on Your left hand, in Your glory.

But Jesus said to them, You know not what you ask: can you drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said to him, We can. And Jesus said to them, You shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall you be baptized: but to sit on My right hand and on My left hand is not Mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared . And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.

Matthew 20:25-28 Jesus shows the "way" of Christianity

But Jesus called them [His disciples] to Him, and said, You know that the princes [leaders] of the Gentiles [non-Jews] exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you [in the church]: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.

Jesus will never say, "Well done," to those who have not earned the well done by their faithful lives of self-denial and self sacrifice to do others good, and to promote His glory. Those who have lived principally to please themselves instead of doing others good are meeting with infinite loss.

"You shall drink indeed of My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with," Christ declared - before Him a cross instead of a throne, two criminals His companions, one at His right hand and one at His left. James and John were to be sharers with their Master in suffering - the one, destined to swift-coming death by the sword (Acts 12:1-2); the other, longest of all the disciples to follow his Master in labour and reproach and persecution (Revelation 1:9). "But to sit on My right hand, and on My left," Jesus continued, "is not Mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of My Father." Matthew 20:21-23.

Jesus understood the motive that prompted the request and gently reproved the pride and ambition of the two disciples: "The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:25-28.

He did this because in the kingdom of God, position is not gained through favouritism. It is not earned, nor is it received through an arbitrary bestowal. It is the result of character. The crown and the throne are the tokens of a condition attained — tokens of self-conquest through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Long afterward, when John had been brought into deeper sympathy with Christ through the fellowship of His sufferings, the Lord Jesus revealed to him what is the condition of nearness to His kingdom. "To him that overcomes," Christ said, "will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne." Revelation 3:21. The one who stands nearest to Christ will be he or she who has drunk most deeply of His spirit of self-sacrificing love, - love that "vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, . . . seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil" 1 Corinthians 13:4, 5, - love that moves the disciple, as it moved our Lord, to give all, to live and labour and sacrifice even to death, for the saving of humanity.


 

Matthew 24:15-16 Words of advice from Jesus

When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever reads, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains...

Should they flee to the mountains or stay? That was the decision which faced the people of God during these momentous times.

All the participants in this prophecy can be identified, but the main principle to be noticed is that the kings of the north and south must pass through Israel (God’s people), to fight each other. This gives Israel the opportunity to run away, or, to stay and help BOTH sides see the truth. After all, this is their work here on earth! "You are My witnesses", Jesus says. (Isaiah 43:10). Only under certain conditions and times has God ever given the order to retreat. There are even times when God says that we should leave "the church", but they are few and far between and operate on definite principles. We are not left to imagine that He is calling us out to another church just because we feel it is so.

The text quoted above specifies that the people must SEE the abomination before leaving.

Isaiah 17:12-13 God also says that we need have no fear during these times

Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.

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4. The two kings of these verses were Ptolemy [or king] Philadelphus II of Egypt (south) and Antiochus Theos II of Syria (north) 261– 246BC. Antiochus divorced his wife Laodice so that he could marry Berenice of Egypt for a political union. However, when the father of Berenice died he went back to Laodice. She, not liking being humiliated, poisoned him, and also Berenice and most of her followers. Her son Seleucus Callinicus became the king of the north.

It was around this time that a man named Philetaerus, who had been a treasurer for Lysimachus, and governor of the city of Pergamos, made himself king of that city and its surrounding area. We will come upon that place later in the The Revelation where it is described as Satan's base camp on earth during this period. Revelation 2:13.

Note:

I cannot guarantee that all the details of the history recorded here are always accurate. I have had to rely on history books which do not always agree with each other regarding dates or even individual's names. To the best of my knowledge, and allowing for my possible inaccurate reading of the books as I attempt to make the mass of information simpler, the general tenor of the historical information is correct. However, be sure that no misinformation of detail can alter the principles God is setting out before us, especially the one about religious laws made by civil authorities being a no-no.

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Special Note 5. Philippians 4:8 This is what God’s people should concentrate on

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

This is good advice for Christian and non-Christian. But this sequence of political attacks and counter-attacks throughout their world held most of the attention of both. This is what the world sees as history, but which God sees as Satan’s masterpiece of deception. The people have no time to think of good things, only entertainment or destruction. The same method of distraction is still in use today. Anyone who has been associated with any group, even local clubs, knows of the "politicking" and back-biting that goes on everywhere, and how certain ones are trying desperately to become "big fish in a small pond". Today, even professed Christians spend a lot of their time watching world events and supposing that they are indicators of God's plans when they could be better employed seeing things from heaven's point of view.

John 1:45 The work for a conscientious Christian

Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said to him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip says to him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael said to Him, Where know You me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before that Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you. Nathanael answered and said to Him, Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.

We should not forget that behind all these comings and goings of the people of Satan's world, the true church of God kept its vigil, waiting (and working) for the advent of the Son of God, the Messiah.

2 Peter 3:10-13 That time will start quietly and end noisily

But the day of the Lord [not the second advent] will come as a thief in the night [unexpectedly to most]; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation [conduct] and godliness, looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.

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6. Berenice’s brother, Ptolemy (this had become a title like Caesar) Euergetes (246BC) attacked the north when he became king of Egypt in order to avenge his sister. He conquered Syria and a lot of Asia and sent Seleucus into exile. Euergetes charged the north quite a sum to pay for the damage to his family, then he had to return to Egypt to quell a rebellion. He continued as king for another 4 – 5 years.

After this Seleucus Callinicus managed to get his brother to agree to join with him against Euergetes but that wily man negotiated a peace with Seleucus. The disappointed brother then came to attack Seleucus and defeated him. But just at that juncture Eumenes of the little city-kingdom of Pergamos came upon them with an army and dispersed all of them, by which he became the chief power in all Asia Minor for a time. Its library, which is considered to be the prototype of later public libraries, was second only to that of Alexandria in Egypt and there was great competition between the two cities in this matter. It was in Pergamos that "parchment" made from animal skins (the original paper) was developed due to a manmade shortage of papyrus imposed by the king of Egypt. This led to the invention of books as we know them today.

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7. The first part of the verse speaks of "sons" in the plural, but the last part of only one. Seleucus Geraunus (226-223BC) and his brother Antiochus Magnus (the great, 223-187BC) were now the surviving sons of Seleucus Callinicus of the north. Seleucus Geraunus was poisoned by his generals and Antiochus took over the kingdom. He recovered all the territory by defeating the Egyptian general, and even thought of invading Egypt. (The Romans were coming onto the world scene about this time).

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8. In the meantime, Ptolemy Philopater (221-203BC) the new king of Egypt, who was a lover of luxury and rather lazy we are told, attacked Antiochus in Israel and defeated him in 217BC. Philopater didn’t continue the war but made peace and forced the Jews to allow him to make sacrifices at Jerusalem whereby "his heart was lifted up" in pride. However, when he was refused permission to enter the most holy place, the second room of the temple, he persecuted the Jews who lived in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, eventually killing thousands of them. (It was in this city that the Greek copy of the Old Testament called the Septuagint had been made up in 277BC.)

Philopater published a decree in 216BC that no one could enter the palace if they did not sacrifice to the gods. There were at the time three ranks of citizens in the town and the Jews were of the first rank. He now decreed that Jews should be reduced to the third rank which required that they be re-enrolled and to do so they had to enter the palace gates. At the same time, all who did come were to be branded with an ivy leaf by a hot iron! Those who refused the branding were to be made slaves, and if any refused this then they were to be executed. Only those who renounced their religion could escape these punishments.

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9. The peace lasted 14 years. Then the king and queen of Egypt died in mysterious circumstances in 204BC and Ptolemy Epiphanes began to rule when he was 5 years old. Now Antiochus the Great of the north joined forces with Philip king of Macedonia to attack Egypt. Thus the king of the north set forth with another great multitude.

The guardians of the young king of Egypt sent a request to the Roman Republic in 202BC to ask them for help in this crisis. At the same time, two other peoples, those of Rhodes and those of Pergamos, appealed to Rome also. The Romans, thinking this would increase their fame, took on the care of the young Ptolemy by sending ambassadors to Philip and Antiochus. This stopped them for a while, for the Roman armies had just defeated an army from Carthage, the only other great city left of Alexander's empire at the time. One of the Roman ambassadors then went to Alexandria to look after the king.

Thus the "robbers of your people", or, as an alternative reading puts it, "the children of robbers", came into world politics. It is said that after the death of Remus (one of the legendary founders of the city of Rome), Romulus realised that the number of its settlers was too small, so he opened an asylum on Capitoline Hill and all manner of people, thieves, murderers and vagabonds of every kind flocked there, so this description is quite apt.

What was set up there was unusual at the time. About 753BC they founded a republic (a kingless state) in which the people controlled their own destiny. It was a state based on the premise of, "A government of the people, by the people, and for the people". It is said of them that they had a faculty of self-government beyond any people of whom we have historical knowledge.

There were three ranks of citizenry - the leaders called senators who were elected for a set time by the people, the plebeians who were the bulk of the state, made up of Rome-born citizens, with the slaves at the bottom. Not until the time of Julius Caesar did the republic cease to exist and have a king (emperor) who ruled for his lifetime and passed the kingdom on to his heir.

In later times it was possible to buy Roman citizenship, or be born in a city which had been granted equal status with Rome, such as Tarsus, the birthplace of the apostle Paul.

Acts 21:39

But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak to the people.

Acts 22:27-28

Then the chief captain came, and said to him, Tell me, are you a Roman? He said, Yes. And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

A quote from an old history book may be of interest here.

"We cannot doubt but that Providence had decreed to the Romans the sovereignty of the world, and the Scriptures had prophesied their future grandeur; but they were strangers to those divine oracles, and besides, the bare prediction of their conquests was no justification of their conduct. Although it is difficult to affirm, and still more so to prove, that this people had from the first formed a plan in order to conquer and subject all nations, it cannot be denied but that if we examine their whole conduct attentively, it will appear that they acted as if they had a foreknowledge of this; and that a kind of instinct had determined them to conform to it in all things."

"ancient/ History", book xix, chap. 1, sec. vii, "Reflections," at end of section.

As Christians who study the Bible we now know where the "plan" came from.

Daniel 8:24

And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

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10. However, Antiochus eventually met an Egyptian army led by Scopas near the source of the river Jordan and chased it into hiding in the heavily defended city of Sidon. Three other Egyptian armies failed to raise the siege and at length Scopas had to surrender because of famine. Thus, once again, "His chosen people", the Jews, came under the dominion of the king of the north.

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