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The Kings of the South and the North
Daniel 11:36-45 (the End Times)
Some information from an earlier chapter is worth repeating as repetition for emphasis.
Daniel 8:17, 19, 26 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 So he came near where I stood. And when he came, I was frightened and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end.” 19 And he said, “Look, I am making known to you what will happen in the period of the wrath, for it refers to the appointed time of the end. 26 The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.”
“The period of the wrath,” has “the basic idea [of] experiencing or expressing intense anger. The word is parallel to qāṣap, except that its expression takes a more specific form, especially of denunciation.”
Daniel 12:4, 9, 13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 But as for you, O Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge will increase.” 9 He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. 13 But go your way till the end; and you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”
The “time of wrath,” connects it to “time of the end,” and says: “It refers certainly to God’s time of judgment on Israel at the time of Antiochus Epiphanes; but it also refers to God’s future time of judgment during the great tribulation, in the last half of which the little horn of Daniel’s first vision will bring even worse affliction” (Wood, Daniel, p. 106).
It should also be noted that the expression “time of the end” occurs in Daniel 12:4 where it clearly means the time approaching Christ’s Second Coming. The conclusion, then, is that we are to see an Antiochus Epiphanes a dread picture and symbol of Antichrist to come in the end time, or Tribulation” (Campbell, 126).
Kelly, West, Seiss, Pentecost, and Walvoord all support this dual reference approach to our passage. Walvoord says, “The entire chapter is historically filled in Antiochus, but to varying degrees foreshadowing typically the future world ruler who would dominate the situation at the end of the times of the Gentiles (Walvoord, Daniel, p. 196).
Archer, though hesitant, throws his considerable weight with this position as well:
This interpretation has much to commend it, for Daniel makes clear through the assignment of the symbol of the “little horn” both to Antiochus of Kingdom III and to Antichrist of the latter-day phase of Kingdom IV that they bear to each other the relationship of type-antitype. Insofar as Epiphanes prefigured the determined effort to be made by the Beast to destroy the biblical faith, that prophecy that described the career of Antiochus also pertained to “the time of the end.” Every type has great relevance for its antitype. But the future dealings of Antichrist can only be conjectured or surmised. Therefore, our discussion will be confined to the established deeds of Antiochus Epiphanes (Archer, p. 106).
Some Bible scholars rightly understand these references to end times, as an increased understanding of the prophecies in the book of Daniel at that times. “Understandably Daniel and his immediate readers could not have comprehended all the details of the prophecies given in this book (cf. v. 8). Not until history continued to unfold would many be able to understand these prophetic revelations. But God indicated that an increased understanding of what Daniel had written would come. People today, looking back over history, can see the significance of much of what Daniel predicted. And in the time of the end (cf. v. 9, and note “the end” and “the end of the days” in v. 13) the words of this book that have been sealed (kept intact) will be understood by many who will seek to gain knowledge from it. This will be in the Tribulation (cf. 11:40, “the time of the end”). Even though Daniel’s people may not have fully understood this book’s prophecies, the predictions did comfort them. They were assured that God will ultimately deliver Israel from the Gentiles and bring her into His covenanted promises.”
Daniel 11:36-37 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
36 “Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak astonishing things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all.
We are now leaving the era of the Antiochus’ and Ptolemies and leaping to “the time of the end” that was just mentioned in verse 35. Many premillennial eschatologists believe that verses 36-45 are referring to the final antichrist prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ and his millennial kingdom. It is, for this reason, we will add chapters in this publication that identifies the antichrist as well. For now, we are going to quote leading eschatologists who see verses 36-45 in this light.
Stephen R. Miller, whom I have quote generously,
Scholars are in agreement that the vision up to this point has been concerned with events between the time of Cyrus (in which Daniel lived) and the death of Antiochus IV, but with v. 36 this agreement ends. Although there have been other identifications set forth for the “king” of vv. 36–45, there are two principal views today.
Those who adhere to the Maccabean thesis maintain that vv. 36–45 continue to speak of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. However, there are serious problems with this position, not the least of which is the fact that much of the historical data set forth in these verses (even in vv. 36–39) is impossible to harmonize with Antiochus’s life. For example, Antiochus did not exalt himself above every god (vv. 36–37), reject “the gods of his fathers,” or worship “a god unknown to his fathers” (v. 38); on the contrary, he worshiped the Greek pantheon, even building an altar and offering sacrifices to Zeus in the Jerusalem temple precincts. Daniel also predicted that this king “will come to his end” in Palestine (v. 45), but it is a matter of historical record that Antiochus IV died at Tabae in Persia.
Exegetical necessity requires that 11:36–45 be applied to someone other than Antiochus IV. The context indicates that the ruler now in view will live in the last days, immediately prior to the coming of the Lord. Verse 40 reveals that this king’s activities will take place “at the time of the end” (cf. 10:14), and the “time of distress” mentioned in 12:1 is best understood as the same “distress” (the tribulation) predicted by Jesus Christ in Matt 24:21 as occurring immediately before his second advent (Matt 24:29–31; cf. Rev 7:14). But the clearest indication that this “king” will live in the latter days is that the resurrection of the saints will take place immediately after God delivers his people from this evil individual’s power (cf. 12:2). Of course, the resurrection is an eschatological event. Finally, vv. 36–39 seem to introduce this king as if for the first time.
Gleason L. Archer, whom I have quoted at times,
With the conclusion of the preceding pericope at v. 35, the predictive material that incontestably applies to the Hellenistic Empires and the contest between the Seleucids and the Jewish patriots ends. This present section (vv. 36–39) contains some features that hardly apply to Antiochus IV, though most of the details could apply to him as well as to his latter-day antitype, “the beast.” Both liberal and conservative scholars agree that all of chapter 11 up to this point contains strikingly accurate predictions of the whole sweep of events from the reign of Cyrus (during which Daniel bought his career to a close) to the unsuccessful effort of Antiochus Epiphanes to stamp out the Jewish faith. But the two schools of thought radically differ in the explanation for this phenomenon. Evangelicals find this pattern of prediction and fulfillment compelling evidence of the divine inspiration and authority of the Hebrew Scriptures, since only God could possibly foreknow the future and see to it that his announced plan would be precisely fulfilled (Archer, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 7: Daniel and the Minor Prophets 1985, 143)
John Walvoord, whom I have quoted and referred to often,
Beginning in verse 36, Daniel described events that have never been fulfilled historically. Neither Antiochus Epiphanes nor Herod the Great ever sought to “exalt himself and magnify himself above every god.” The individual in view is the still-future Antichrist first described in Daniel 7. The expression “the time of the end” (v. 35) marks the sharp break in this prophecy. Up to this point, the prophecy dealing with the Persian and Grecian Empires has been fulfilled minutely and with amazing precision. Now, however, we are in an entirely different situation.
The belief is that verses 36-45 are referring to the final antichrist in the latter part of “the last days,” that is, “the time of the end. Therefore, we need to talk about the antichrist briefly here but in-depth in chapters 9-11. We can define the antichrist as anyone, any group, any organization, or any government that is against or instead of Christ, or who mistreat his people. Thus, we are not just looking for one person, one group, one organization, or one power.
Variations of the expression “do as he pleases” are used of God in 4:35, Persia in 8:4, Alexander the Great in 11:3, and Antiochus III in 11:16. A similar expression, “It prospered in everything it did,” was used of Antiochus IV in 8:12. Because of his personal charisma, intelligence, evil character, and political power, Antichrist will arrogantly believe that he can function sufficiently well without God. The passage seems to indicate that Antichrist will be an atheist (cf. 2 Thess 2:4; Rev 13:6), although he evidently will use religion to gain his position of power (cf. Rev 17). Baldwin declares: “So thoroughgoing is his egotism that he has no option but to be an atheist.”
“Unheard-of things” is a translation of the Hebrew niplāʾôt (from pālāʾ, “be surpassing, extraordinary”; noun, peleʾ, “wonder”), which denotes “astonishing, shocking, or unbelievable things.” Antichrist will spew out shockingly blasphemous words against Christ (cf. 7:8, 11, 20, 25; 2 Thess 2:4; Rev 13:5–6).
The phrase “the time of wrath” is a translation of one Hebrew word, zaʿam, a term that usually denotes the wrath of God (cf. Isa 10:25; 26:20; 30:27; Mal 1:4), and that is the meaning here. God’s wrath will be poured out upon Antichrist and the whole sinful world in the last days during the tribulation period (cf. 12:1; Matt 24:21–22, 29–31; Rev 6–19). When that period is over, this tyrant’s activities will cease. Though Antichrist will be judged, he himself is part of God’s judgment upon the wicked (cf. 2 Thess 2:12), for those who reject the truth will believe his lies and follow him to their doom (cf. Rev 16:13–16). When the evil leader has accomplished his purpose, judgment will fall upon him (cf. 7:11, 26; 2 Thess. 2:8; Rev 19:20). Even Antichrist’s activities and the tribulation are permitted by the sovereign God to accomplish his purposes.
Regarding the king of the north, the angel added, says “Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god [refusing to acknowledge the sovereignty of God Almighty] and will speak astonishing things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done. He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all.”
Fulfilling these prophetic words, the king of the north “will show no regard for the gods of his fathers,” such as the liberal progressive world that we are experiencing today with their communistic attitudes that promote outright atheism. Thus, the king of the north has made a god of himself, ‘magnifying himself over everyone.’ ‘Showing no regard for the desire of women.’ Commentators are getting bogged down in trying to identify who these women are. However, it might be best to think of how women were viewed in Bible times, as subservient to pagan husbands and subordinate to Jewish and Christian husbands. Might we look at it as the king of the north ‘showing no regard for these women, namely, lands or powers that are subservient and subordinate to the king of the north, “for he will magnify himself above them all.” Verse 37 “concludes by again emphasizing the atheistic nature of Antichrist, “Nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all” (cf. 2 Thess. 2:4). This deluded tyrant will even demand that the earth’s inhabitants worship him rather than their deities (cf. Rev 13:12, 14–15).”
Daniel 11:38 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
38 But instead he will give glory to the god of fortresses; to a god that his fathers did not know he will give glory by means of gold and silver and precious stones and desirable things.
Going on with the prophecy, the angel said, “he [king of the north] will give glory to the god of fortresses,” that is, the king of the north will place his trust in the power of the military. He believes that he can save himself and control the world through his “god” of military prowess, sacrificing great wealth, specifically, “gold and silver and precious stones and desirable things,” on the “god” of military power.
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Daniel Walvoord points this out for us,
Examining all other passages relating to the end time, it becomes evident that the sole confidence of a final world ruler is in military power, personified as “the god of war,” or “god of fortresses.” In other words, he is a complete materialist in contrast to all previous religions and all previous men who claim divine qualities. This is blasphemy to the ultimate, the exaltation of human power and attainment. He is Satan’s masterpiece, a human being who is Satan’s substitute for Jesus Christ, hence properly identified as the Antichrist. (Walvoord 2012)
Daniel 11:39 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
39 He will act effectively against the most fortified strongholds, along with a foreign god; he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him and will cause them to rule over the many, and he will distribute land for a price.
The king of the north is placing all of his trust his militaristic “foreign god,” acting most “effectively,” proving that he is the most formidable military power in “the last days.” (2 Tim. 3:1) The king of the north “will give great honor to those who acknowledge him,” namely, lands or powers that are subservient and subordinate to the king of the north, as verse 37 stated, “he will magnify himself above them all.” The king of the north will reward those who support his worldview with political, financial, and even at times military support.
It is now time to identify more specifically but not absolutely who the king of the north is. Remember, we can define the antichrist as anyone, any group, any organization, or any government that is against or instead of Christ, or who mistreat his people. Thus, we are not just looking for one person, one group, one organization, or one power. In ‘the time of the end,” the latter part of the “last days,” we are looking for a composite power or kingdom (government) made up of various powers or kingdoms. This author would suggest Russia, North Korea, Iran, as well as radical Islam apocalyptic ideology, and especially the socialistic, liberal-progressive worldview of many countries and the press (media) throughout the world. This composite power is a definite threat to Christ and Christianity. For eight years, the composite king of the north, antichrist, had its greatest ally in President Obama, who put the world at risk with his ideologies. He is an antichrist in that he went to war with true conservative Christianity in favor of Islam. Obama was trying to destroy the king of the south from within by weakening the United States of America military, as well as her Judeo-Christian moral values.
Daniel 11:40 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
40 “At the time of the end, the king of the south will attack him, but the king of the north will rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships; and he will come into countries and will overflow and pass through.
In these “last days” or “time of the end,” the king of the south for this author is the United States of America and any ally powers. Have we seen the king of the south “attack” the king of the north during “the time of the end”? (Daniel 12:4, 9) In a specific sense, we are really not in the “time of the end” as of yet because that is a brief period, the great tribulation, just before the second coming of Christ. However, there is little doubt that the election of Donald J. Trump as president of the United States has put the king of the south in an attack mode like never before in recent history. Trump is carrying out the office with a far more conservative worldview than anyone had suspected he would. He is restoring the king of the south to its glory as the protector of the world and true Christianity. The king of the north has responded to the Trump presidency like a “whirlwind” both ‘militarily’ and in message. From day one, Trump has been under attack from every quarter of the world, especially the liberal progressive media.
Daniel 11:41 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
41 And he will come into the beautiful land and many will fall victim, but these will escape from his power: Edom and Moab and the foremost of the sons of Ammon.
“He [the antichrist Obama] will come into the beautiful land [spiritual domain of Christ’s disciples] and many will fall victim [persecution of genuine Christians], but these will escape from his power [harming but by no means stopping their activity, as Trump is elected].”
Daniel 11:42-43 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
42 And he will stretch out his hand against countries and the land of Egypt will not escape. 43 And he will rule over the hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the desirable things of Egypt; and the Libyans and the Ethiopians will be at his steps.
The king of the south, the United States and allies, “Egypt,” has not had complete success against the king of the north because there was an antichrist, Obama, weakening her from within. For example, the king of the south was losing a ten-year war against radical Islam and was having her military gutted, as the world viewed the king of the south as weak and despondent. How are we to understand the reference to “the Libyans and the Ethiopians will be at his steps.” The “Libyans and the Ethiopians” were neighbors of the ancient king of the south, Egypt; however, today they can refer to nations or powers follow in step with the composite king of the north. The battle between the king of the south and the king of the north is entering the latter part of the last days.
Daniel 11:44-45 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
44 But reports out of the east and out of the north will disturb him, and he will go out in a great rage to annihilate and to devote many to destruction. 45 And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.
In time, the composite king of the north will embark on his final campaign against the king of the south, and in a great rage [he will] annihilate and … devote many to destruction.” It is impossible to know the specific action that the composite king of the north will take. Nevertheless, motivated by “reports out of the east and out of the north [that] will disturb him,” the composite king of the north will carry out a campaign of some sort “in a great rage to annihilate and to devote many to destruction.” We can infer the campaign is directed at the king of the south and her allies but what “reports” will be the catalyst that will “disturb” the composite king of the north that prompt such an attack is unknowable at this point.
Who is Gog of the Land of Magog Mentioned By Ezekiel the Prophet?
Ezekiel 38:16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
16 and you will come up against my people Israel like a cloud covering the land; it will be in the last days, and I will bring you against my land, so that the nations know me, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes, O Gog!”
So who is Gog of the land of Magog? Initially, it would seem that the name “Gog” might have been a proper name that over time came to be used as a general title for an enemy of God’s people. However, in order for us to answer that question, we need to search through the entire Bible and see who attacks God’s people in a major way. The Bible mentions the attack by ‘Gog of the land of Magog,’ the attack by “the king of the north,” and the attack by “the kings of the earth.” (Ezekiel 38:2, 10-13; Daniel 11:40, 44, 45; Revelation 17:14; 19:19) These may very well be different attacks against God’s people (the Israelites Ezekiel 38:2, 10-13), which culminate into the final attack by the enemies of God right after the end of the Great Tribulation. Jesus Christ at Armageddon saves God’s chosen people by destroying Gog of Magog. We know that all of the nations of the earth are enemies of God’s people at the time of the final attack at the beginning of the war of Armageddon. (Revelation 16:14, 16) After that, we enter into the literal thousand-year reign of Christ. So, Gog of Magog refers to a composite group of nations at the time of Armageddon that is in opposition to God’s people.
Notice what God says about Gog: “You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army.” (Ezekiel 38:6, 15) The prophet Daniel who lived at the same time as Ezekiel, had this to say about the king of the north: “But reports out of the east and out of the north will disturb him, and he will go out in a great rage to annihilate and to devote many to destruction. And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.” (Daniel 11:44-45) Note that this is similar to what the prophet Ezekiel says that Gog will do. – Ezekiel 38:8-12, 16.
What will happen after the final attack of Gog of Magog, the composite nations of the earth, on God’s people? Daniel tells us: “Now at that time [at Armageddon] Michael [the archangel, the most powerful angel], the great prince who stands up for the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress [the great tribulation] such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.” – Daniel 12:1.
We know that these difficult times for true Christians today will only go from bad to worse. (2 Timothy 3:1-7) However, we have no need to be overly anxious about the coming attacks on God’s people. Rather, our focus at present should be on the sanctification of God and to make known his sovereignty to the world. We know that “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.” (2 Peter 2:9) In the meantime, we want to strengthen our faith so that we may remain steadfast no matter how any future attacks may impact us. We should have a good prayer life, a personal study program, attend Christian meetings faithfully. – Hebrews 6:19; 10:24-25; Psalm 25:21.
While we are on the subject of God of the land of Magog, we might as well address who is Gog and Magog of Revelation 20:8. Just as it represented the composite nations who were to attack God’s people at the end of the great tribulation that begins Armageddon, here it seems likely that it is referring to all of the people who will attack God’s true people with the same hateful vigor at the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ when Satan is let loose from the abyss. Just as like God of Magog, Gog and Magog will also be destroyed. – Revelation 19:20, 21; 20:9.
Table of Contents
AMERICA 1 Authorship of Daniel and Revelation Defended 2
Daniel Misjudged 2
Evidence that Revelation Is Authentic and Inspired 22
AMERICA 2 Interpreting Prophecy 25
AMERICA 3 The Kings of the South and the North 34
Daniel 11:1-9 (530 – 226 B.C.E.) 34
AMERICA 4 The Kings of the South and the North 41
Daniel 11:10-20 (226 – 175 B.C.E.) 41
AMERICA 5 The Kings of the South and the North 45
Daniel 11:21-35 (175 – 164 B.C.E.) 45
AMERICA 6 The Kings of the South and the North 58
Daniel 11:36-45 (the End Times) 58
AMERICA 7 Babylon the Great, the Beast, the Seven Kings, and the Eighth King of Revelation 67
Revelation 17:1-18 (the Last Days) 67
AMERICA 8 Donald Trump Takes Oath of Office for President of the United States, what Does This Mean for Christians? 75
The United States in Bible Prophecy? 78
AMERICA 9 What are the Characteristics of the Antichrist? 82
AMERICA 10 How Can We Identify the Antichrist? 89
Misidentifying the Antichrist 89
Who Make Up the Antichrist? 90
AMERICA 11 The Antichrist Uncovered 106
AMERICA 12 Identifying the Man of Lawlessness 115
Origin of the Lawless Man 116
Identifying the Lawless Man 117
AMERICA 13 Destruction of the Man of Lawlessness 133
CHAPTER 14 The Mark of the Beast – 666 164
AMERICA 15 Explaining Signs of the End of the Age 169
Islamic Excursion 172
Do Not Be Led Astray 182
The Coming of the Son of Man 190
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SCROLL THROUGH DIFFERENT CATEGORIES BELOW
BIBLE TRANSLATION AND TEXTUAL CRITICISM
BIBLICAL STUDIES / INTERPRETATION
CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM
CHURCH ISSUES, GROWTH, AND HISTORY
 Lit truth; Heb., ʼemet
 I.e., keep the vision secret; Heb., satar
 Lit for to days many; I.e., to the distant future
 Leon J. Wood, “568 זָעַם,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 247.
 I.e. examine the book thoroughly
 Anders, Max. Holman Old Testament Commentary – Daniel (p. 232). B&H Publishing.
 J. Dwight Pentecost, “Daniel,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 1373.
As to whether the Jews remained God’s chosen people after the rejection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, see this author’s CPH Blog article, MODERN ISRAEL IN BIBLE PROPHECY: Are the Natural Jews Today Still God’s Chosen People?
 Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, vol. 18, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994), 304–305.
 Walvoord, John. Daniel (The John Walvoord Prophecy Commentaries) (Kindle Locations 6319-6324). Moody Publishers.
 Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, vol. 18, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994), 306–307.
 IBID, 307–308.
 Or temptation
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