Study Notes

Daniel 11:36-45


An angel has appeared to Daniel - giving him a prophetic message regarding what will happen to his people, the Jews. We saw in this prophecy that they would be caught in conflicts between nations.

When Alexander the Great's kingdom was divided up into four parts, the northern and southern kingdoms continued to battle for control of the territory between them - the land of Palestine. The Jewish people suffered greatly because of this for hundreds of years.

Then, the unthinkable happened - Antiochus Epiphanes returned from an attempted invasion of the south. The Romans had turned him away from Egypt, threatening him with war if he didn't leave. He was angry and humiliated. This intensified the hatred he already had for the Jews.

He entered Jerusalem, insisting that the Jews forsake their God and His Law. Some of them did reject God. He killed eighty thousand others that resisted, and captured and enslaved anther eighty thousand. He also desecrated and defiled the temple, committing the "Abomination of Desolation."

The angel's prophecy intricately described how all of these things would happen, and history shows us how they were fulfilled in every detail.

When we left off, the angel was speaking in verse 35 of the end time, the appointed time, meaning the last days, the Tribulation period. So we have come to the division of the prophecy where we leave events that have happened in the past and now read of events in our future, things which are soon to happen.

11:36 The King

In the end times, there will be a king.

Notice that until now, every mention of a king in chapter 11 has been "the king of the North" or "the king of the South." It was only in verse three that a king was mentioned without reference to his territory. This was, as we saw last week, Alexander the Great - the ruler of all the known world.

This king being referred to is not the king over a certain territory, but over all the known world. He is, as we commonly call him, the antichrist. This is a man who will gain power and control over the whole earth. We see that in Revelation 6, it is said,

Rev. 6:2 ...behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer.

He is holding a bow when the crown is given to him. What does this mean? When a bow is spoken of without arrows, it often is making reference to a covenant. The very first mention of a bow in the Scriptures is when God made a covenant with Noah. He said,

Gen. 9:13-16 "I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. And it shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."

The antichrist is given a crown, made a king, as he holds a covenant. What covenant? I believe it is the one that Daniel has already learned of, back in chapter nine.

Dan. 9:27 "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week..."

The antichrist is the one who will finally be able to bring peace to the Middle East conflict. And this will launch him into world leadership.

Exalt And Magnify Himself Above Every God

Not only are we told of his kingship, but also of his arrogant pride. We read in chapter eight that...

Dan. 8:25 "...he will magnify {himself} in his heart...

Not only will he set himself over all other people, but he is going to exalt and magnify himself above every god. He will be so engrossed in the thought of his own deity that he will break the very seven-year covenant that brought him into power. Reading further in 9:27,

Dan. 9:27 "...he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering..."

How does putting a stop to the temple sacrifices tie into his thoughts of deity? Paul explains this in more detail to the Thessalonians, saying that he...

2Ths. 2:4 ...opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

This man will enter the temple of God and claim to be God.

Speak Monstrous Things Against God

Another thing that the Scriptures abundantly point out about the antichrist is his big, blasphemous mouth. He is described throughout the Bible as uttering great boasts (Daniel 7:8, 11, 20), insolent (Dan. 8:23), and speaking out against the Most High (Daniel 7:25). In Revelation 13, we see...

Rev. 13:5-6 And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, {that is}, those who dwell in heaven.

This man will arrogantly blaspheme God, the name of God, the temple of God, and those in heaven with God. He will deny the existence of any god but himself. John told us,

1John 2:22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.

This is truly a person who speaks monstrous things against God.

11:37 No Regard For The Gods Of His Fathers

Many people believe that the antichrist will be a Jewish man. They believe this based on this verse, as it is translated in the King James Version of the Bible, which says,

Dan. 11:37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers...

Most modern translations, however, translated this as "the gods of his fathers." Why the discrepancy?

The word here for "God" or "gods" is "El-o-HEEM," which most of us are familiar with. As you may know, the Hebrew word for god is "Ale." When the word is dual, speaking of two, it becomes "El-AW." When referring to three or more, it is the word "El-o-HEEM."

"El-o-HEEM" is frequently used in the Scriptures to speak of God in His Triune nature. But it also used hundreds of times to speak of false gods. For example, the word El-o-HEEM appeared earlier in this chapter, saying,

Dan. 11:8 And also their gods with their metal images {and} their precious vessels of silver and gold he will take into captivity to Egypt...

As a matter of fact, the second verse of the book uses the same word to refer to both.

Dan. 1:2 And the Lord gave Yeh-ho-yaw-KEEM king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God (El-o-HEEM); and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god (el-o-HEEM)...

What this shows us is that it is always the context that determines for us the meaning, whether it is the true God or false gods. Unfortunately, because either context applies, there is no way to know for sure.

No Regard For The Desire Of Women

The very next phrase is equally difficult to know the true meaning of. Many believe that the antichrist will be a homosexual, since it says that he has no desire for women. This could well be the case, but again, it is not certain. First of all, it literally says that he SHOWS NO REGARD for the desire of women. This could mean anything from homosexuality to abstinence to simply being a leader that doesn't give his soldiers time off for conjugal visits. To add more confusion, "the desire of women" could actually be a title of the Messiah, since historically, it was the desire of every Hebrew woman to be the mother of the Messiah. This is why the NIV translators rendered the verse,

Dan. 11:37(NIV) ...the one desired by women...

Again, there is no way to be dogmatic about the homosexuality of the antichrist.

11:38 A God Of Fortresses

Tying this verse into the end of verse 37, we see that the antichrist has no regard for any god, true or false. Instead, his god is power, force, and military might. A huge percentage of his kingdom's wealth and resources will go towards his military.

It is no wonder that when John saw what have become known as "the four horsemen of the apocalypse," the first horseman - the antichrist - was followed by a second, about whom was written,

Rev. 6:4 And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that {men} should slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.

This "great sword" seems to speak of an incredibly powerful weapon or military force.

11:39 With The Help Of A Foreign God

As the antichrist brings the world into submission, he overcomes even the strongest adversaries. He does this with the help of a foreign god. Which foreign god? No matter what name we might give to this god, it is the prince of this world, satan. His throne, his power, his victory, all given to him by the devil. Revelation tells us,

Rev. 13:2 ...the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.

Those Who Acknowledge Him

Those who play up to his pride will advance in his government into positions of power. John saw a vision in Revelation 17 that confused him. An angel explained the vision to him, including this statement:

Rev. 17:12 "And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.

These ten kings are given authority because they have recognized and respected the antichrist, affirming his divinity.

It seems that in addition to flattery, these kings are also given to bribery. Their territorial authority seems to have been bought with a price.

11:40-43 At The End Time

So far, the antichrist has been referred to in a general sense. Now, in these verses, we see his specific actions drawn out in detail. As we have already seen, war comes on the heels of him coming to power. Not all of the world will immediately be jumping on his bandwagon. There will be plenty of opposition.

11:44 Destroy And Annihilate Many

We have seen that the antichrist will claim to be god in the temple. This is called the abomination of desolation. The Jews will reject this, and will incur the wrath of the antichrist.

Matt. 24:15-22 "Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak. But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days! But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath; for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short."

The results of this were seen in symbolism in Revelation 12, when Israel flees into the wilderness from the persecution of the devil through the armies of the antichrist.

Rev. 12:14-17 And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, in order that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

When he sees that he will not be able to catch those that have fled to the rock city of Petra, the antichrist will begin a world-wide persecution of all Jews and Christians.

11:45 Between The Seas

Although he will proclaim himself to be God in the temple on Mount Zion, here called "the Holy Mountain," he will not set this as his home base. Actually, it will be "between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain."

We know from Revelation that the financial center of the world will be Babylon in the country of Iraq. I find it then very interesting that if you draw a triangle between Mount Zion, the Caspian Sea, and the Persian Gulf, the city of Babylon is right in the middle. Babylon definitely fits the description of being "between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain."

He Will Come To His End

It is frightening to think that such a blasphemous and murderous man could rule the world in our day, or in the near future. Yet, we see it is true. Verse 36 said that he will prosper until the end. But when the end of the indignation (an Old Testament term for the Great Tribulation) is finished, he will receive all that he deserves. John wrote,

Rev. 19:19-20 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

This man who will be the king of the earth, and worshiped as God, will only prosper for a few years. And then he will suffer for all eternity in the lake of fire.

Once again, we are reminded that in spite of how turbulent the times seem, God is still in control.

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