Historical Notes on Daniel 11.

Notes on Daniel 11

This Sunday I will be speaking on Daniel 11.  I will not have time to get into all the incredible history that is in this chapter.  I thought I would publish my study notes on here so you can see the accuracy of the Bible.  It is amazing!

Ch. 11 is in the middle of the 5th and final apocalypse/prophecy.  Prologue: 10:1 – 11:1, The Revelation 11:2- 12:4, Epilogue, 12:5-13

The book of truth refers to the inscribing of decrees (similar to the President signing a bill into law).  The book of truth is also referred to in Exodus 32:32-33, Malachi 3:16, Psalm 40:8, 56:9, 139:16.  The point is history unfolds under the sovereign reign of God.

Cyrus the Great is the first King.

  • In 7:6 the persian empire is referred to as a leopard with 4 heads.  
  • the other three are; Ahasuerus (Xerxes), Artaxerxes the I, and Darius II (NEh. 12:22 = Darius the Persian).
  • The wealth cited here is what helped incite Greek to invade them.

Universal agreement that Alexander the Great is referred to in verse 3.

  • His rule lasted 12 years and 8 months.
  • 33- had a deathly fever.

After Alexander the Kingdom was split between four Generals.

  • Lysimachus: Thrace and Asia Minor
  • Cassander: Macedonia and Greece
  • Antigonus: Babylon and Syria, King of the North
  • Ptolemy I Soter: Egypt, Palestine, Phoenicia: Kingdom of the South

Four winds of heavens refers to the four regions.

It is written in the book of truth.

  • Four more kings- Persia
  • The fourth will stir the anger of Greece.  
  • Alexander the Great will defeat him (336-323 BCE)
  • 11:5-20: Describe the conflicts between the Ptolemies and the Seleucids.
    • It also details the reign of Antiochus IV.
    • He will succeed until the time of wrath is completed.
      • He also blasphemes the ancestral Gods 11:21-45
  • Michael will arise, and protect them.  Each one written in the book.

Outline of section:

  • The Persian Age 11:2
  • Alexander the Great (336-323 BC) and the breakup of his empire (11:3-4)
  • The battles and fortunes between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies (11:5-20)
    • Ptolemy I Soter (323-285) and Seleucus I Nicator (312/11-280) (11:5)
      • In 316 was forced to flee to Ptolemy after being defeated by Antigonus.  He offered his services to ptolemy (The little prince in v.5)
      • Together they defeated Demitruis (Son of Antigonus) at Gaza.  After the battle of Ipsis in 311 Seleucus  had power except for Egypt and Palestine.  11:5 came true.
    • The intrigues of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246) and Antiochus II Theos (261-246) (11:6)
      • Ptolemy II King of the South tried an alliance with Antiochus II Theos. (King of the North) by offering his daughter Bernice in marriage.
      • This required though Antiochus II to divorce his wife and marry Bernice.  After Ptolemy’s death he set Bernice aside and moved back in with former wife Laodice.  Laodice did not like that idea (Antiochus II wife) and had Benice poisoned and her young son killed.  Thus giving back her marriage and putting her sons next in line for the throne.
    • The revenge of Ptolemy II Euergetes (246-221) for the death of his sister Bernice, and his overrunning of the kingdom of Seleucus II Callinicus (246-226) 11:7-9)
      • Ptolemy III, brother of Bernice, (11:7) was leading a navy to antioch (strongholds of the King of the North).
      • Seleucus II (Son of Laodice) offered no resistance.
      • So Ptolemy II conquered large portions Upper Asia.
        • The Egyptians gave him the title Benefactor because he brought back great plunder of gold and statues of idols from his conquest. 11:8
        • His victory was not decisive.
      • Note the Ptolemy’s are from Egypt (to the south)
      • Ptolemy’s victory was not decisive so Seleucus II rose up again (11:8-9)
        • This reference to the Syrian campaign that led to disaster.  Seleucus was forced back to Antioch (11:9b) with a decimated army.
      • Seleucus II was succeeded by Seleucus III in 227 B.C.  He was murdered by Antiochus III.  11:10-19 describe those details.  
    • The long and eventful reign of Antiochus III the Great (223-187) (11:10-19)
      • After settling in his reign he set out to conquer Phoenicia and Palestine.
      • He came against Ptolemy IV Philopator of Egypt.
      • Seleucus opened the campaign by retaking Antioch (11:10a)
      • Next Seleucus pressed a major battle at Raphia ( (The other’s stronghold (11:10)
      • Ptolemy was ready with 70,000 soldiers, 5000 calvarymen, and 75 elephants (Think LoTR).
      • Antiochus had 70,000 men and lost 17,000 in the battle. 11:11
      • Antiochus lost to Ptolemy (11:12)
      • Ptolemy gained no territory from the battle (11:12) because he was too interested in partying and pleasure to press forward. He just made peace with Antiochus and partied on!
      • 14 years later, after defeating Asia Mnir and Persia and gaining the title “the great.”  decided to attack Egypt again.  Ptolemy IV and so his son Ptolemy V defended Egypt.  Made an alliance with Philip V of Macedon.
        • Scopa (Egpt’s general) was defeated by the massive forces of Egypt. (11:13) 199 BC (At Caesarea Philippi)
        • Many men will rise up = Egyptian insurgents rising against the new rule.
        • Violent men of your own people = Jewish pro-Seleucid Jews who wanted Egpt gone.
        • 11:15, Scopa (Egyptian General) set up camp at Sidon.  Antiochus went after him and laid siege to it and took possession of it in 198 BC.
        • 11:16: No one can stop Antiochus now.
        • 11:17- Antiochus defeats more territory of Egypt (Southern coast of Asia Minor).
        • He never attacked Egypt proper because he feared Rome (the new empire on the block)
          • So he made a peace treaty with Ptolemy V and sealed it by giving a daughter in marriage.  v. 17
          • The woman’s name? Cleopatra
            • Antiochus had hoped to manipulate Ptolemy V through Cleopatra to destroy hm.  It failed miserably. 11:17
            • She was loyal to her husband and said to make an alliance with Rome!
            • v. 18: He continued to go after the sea lands 197 BC.  v. 18, violating the peace treaty.
            • He attacked as far as Greece.
            • In 192 he invaded Greece and aggravated Rome.
            • He was defeated by the Romans in Thermopylae.
            • In 190 they pressed and defeated Antiochus in Smyrna.
            • 11:18 Magistrate = Lucuis Cornelius
            • 11:19- He now turns back to his own land.  Antiochus
            • At Elymais he was murdered while trying to sack the treasury of the idol God Bel, in order to meet his tribute to Rome 11:19
    • Seleucus the Philopator (187-175) (11:20)
      • 12 years = short time
      • He inherited the heavy financial burden to Rome
      • He was reduced to being a fundraiser as a King… thus the description in v. 20.
        • 2 Maccabees recounts a story where he tried to raid the Temple treasury in Jerusalem. v. 20
      • He was murdered most likely by Antiochus IV, while coming back from captivity to Rome, hence “not openly in battle.”
  • The infamous reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164) and his bitter persecution of the Jews. (11:21-45)
    • The purpose of sharing this is to encourage the Jews to stay strong in the faith.
    • He was the younger son of Antiochus the Great.
      • 11:21- He was in Athens and heard the plot to kill Seleucus, foiled the plot, and usurped the throne.
      • 11:22- He murdered Onias III the High Priest who opposed the Hellenizing policies of Antiochus.
      • Onias was replaced by his brother Jason, who paid for the position and promised to support and advance Antiochus policies.  And got it.
      • But another Menelaus, outbid Jason, and won the position.  Menelaus had Onais, 11:23-24
      • 11:24-28: Antiochus first war against Egypt
        • Ptolemy VI actually provoked antiochus attack by trying to recapture Syria and Palestine.
        • His sister Cleopatra had been smart in Egypt
        • 11:25-26 refers to Philometor (The King of Egypt) was encouraged by two advisors to go after Antiochus Kingdom.
      • 11:27: 2 Kings are Antiochus and his Nephew (through Cleopatra) Ptolemy Philometor.  His other Nephew Ptolemy VII Euergetes Physcon was commanding Alexandria.  Antiochus hoped to put them against each other.  His plot was foiled when their sister, Cleopatra II, got them to agree to a joint rule.
      • 2 Kings exchanging lies.  They plotted evil against a table companion.  Severe blow to table ethics.
      • 11:28- Antiochus had to go back because Jason trie to tke away Menelaus as High Priest.  
      • This enrages Antiochus and so he raids the temple and massacrs many Jews for Jason’s revolt.  This set antiochus against the Jewish people. (11:28)
      • The issue for Antiochus was authority, not religion.  Menelaus was in charge!
      • 11:29-35: Antiochus second foray into Egypt.
        • Antiochus got wind of he joint rule in Egypt and their plan to invade their Uncle’s land. (Merry Christmas!!)
        • (11:29)- The ships of Kittim are Roman headed by Gaius Popillus Laenas.  He orders Antiochus to leave.
        • 11:30 Antiochus returns home humiliated
        • This began the bitter persecution against the Jews who would not go along with the pagan custom.  167 – 164 BC
        • He sent a General teach the Jews a lesson.  So he waited until the sabbath, paraded he soldiers about town, and all those who were not working were massacred.
        • 11:31
          • Prohibition of worship in the sanctuary
          • Forced them to do the festival of Bacchus instead of Festival of Tents.
          • 11:32a, Jews who went along with antiochus
        • 11:34- The little help was the Maccabean revolt by Matthais and His Son Judas (the Hammer)
        • 11:35- Jew who did non-violent protest
      • 11:36-37
        • This from a theological viewpoint
        • Antiochus considered himself greater than any God.
        • He put the God, meaning himself, on his coins
        • He made himself to be like Zeus on the coins.
      • 1:37-39
        • Ancestors- Gods of the seleucids.
        • 39: Those who went along with his policies were well rewarded.  
          • He promised the youngest of the seven brothers that if he went along he would give him a high office and make him rich.
        • Many want to interpret this into stories of the anti-Christ.
      • 11:40-45: Antiochus death.
        • These verses do not match history.
        • Antiochus (North) provoked by the south (Ptolemy Philometor)
        • Antiochus attack by sea too to take over Alexandria.
        • He comes again into Jerusalem
        • He continues to march south into Egypt and this time is successful 11:43.
        • Libyans and Cushits wre the traditional borders of Egypt.
        • 11:44- Antiochus spent the latter part of his reign battling the Parthians who were in the eastern part of the seleucid empire.  The Armenians were located to the north.
        • On the way back he again attacks the faithful Jews.
      • 11:45
        • Between the Mediterranean Sea and Mt. Zion?
          • He actually died in Tabae in Persia.
        • Ch. 8 says he dies broken- but not by human hand.
        • However, he died in Persia.  Being short of funds he tied to rob the temple of Atermis  and was repulsed.  He withdrew to Isfahan and died of a terrible disease.
      • So what to do with these last verses?
        • Many note “at the time of the end” points to revelation.
        • Many says it refers to the olivet discourse in Matthew 24:21
        • the anti-christ passages start in verse 36.
  • The final victory of God’s chosen ones, 12:1-4
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