Daniel 045 – Wars Are Determined (Part 1)Daniel 11:5-12 • Dr. Andy Woods • December 10, 2017 • Daniel
Wars are Determined
12-10-17 Daniel 11:5-12 Lesson 45
Good morning everybody. Let’s take our Bibles if we could and open them to the Book of Daniel, Daniel 11:5. The title of our message this morning is Wars are Determined. As we’ve been continuing to move through the Book of Daniel we are in that final section of the book, chapters 10-12 which gives us the final vision that God gave to the prophet Daniel.
We’ve seen chapter 10 verses 1-3, the setting of the vision. Probably the most important thing to understand about the setting is (I have it there at the bottom of the screen) this took place in the third year of Cyrus. The year would be 536 B.C. Once again you might want to commit that date to memory because as I’ll be showing you as we move into chapter 11 Daniel sure knows a lot of things before they happen in Daniel 11. Many of the things that Daniel speaks of in Daniel 11 wouldn’t happen for centuries historically. The Messenger arrives from heaven to give Daniel the vision; the messenger explains what the vision is about and what took the messenger so long to get there, something called spiritual warfare.
And then beginning in Daniel 11:2, really through the end of the book, is the vision itself. That’s what we’ve been working our way through beginning last week. The first part of the vision, verse 2, we studied the last time, concerns Persia, the empire that Daniel was serving in when this vision was given. Some very interesting information about Persia would happen. Daniel is told of these things before they occur.
And then the vision moves away from Persia to the next empire that would come to power. It would be an empire called Greece and verses 3-4 give some astonishing prophecies about Greece. It talks, without mentioning his name, about an individual named Alexander the Great who would come to power around 331 (roughly), if you look very carefully there at the bottom of the screen you’ll see Alexander’s eyes blinking every once in a while, you’re not seeing any illusions or anything, it’s really happening. And I have to say that kind of thing because one time I was teaching a Bible study in the Dallas area and some buy walked in and he had had some problems with alcoholism and those kind of things and I had to assure him he wasn’t having some kind of flash back or something.
So Alexander the Great dies and he has no heir and we saw how verses 3 and 4 predict how Alexander the Great’s empire was divided into four amongst his four generals. Cassander took Macedonia, Lysimachus took Thrace and Asia Minor, Ptolemy took Egypt and Seleucus took Syria which would include, part of it any, the land of Israel. That’s what it all looked like. Daniel, of course, saw these things centuries in advance, in 536 B.C.
Cassander and Lysimachus sort of fall off the radar screen at this point. The whole focus, and there’s so much focus here you’re going to be tired of the focus by the time we get to the end of Daniel 11, but the whole focus here is the Ptolemies down south, otherwise known as Egypt, and the Seleucid dynasty up north, otherwise known as Syria. Why are they the most important? Because Cassander and Lysimachus, in the west, have no connection to Israel. The Ptolemies and the Seleucids do for the next several centuries of history and that’s why they are the subject of Daniel’s prophecies.
And what follows then is a section of Scripture that I was praying that the rapture would happen before we got to this section because it’s one of the areas of the Bible that really requires the most amount of study and it’s sort of difficult to navigate your way through it, as you’re going to become a victim of that in just a minute.
But what is happening here in verses 5-20? It is the history of warfare between two dynasties. Those two dynasties are the Ptolemies of Egypt in the south and the Seleucids of Syria in the north. In fact, those two dynasties in Egypt will take on the name, King of the South, Egypt; King of the North, Syria. And it’s a record of how the Seleucids up north and the Ptolemies down south fought each other for about 150 years. From these various generals came forth dynasties and these dynasties, as we’re going to see, did not exactly cooperate with each other. That’s why last week at the end of Daniel 11 and verse 4 it talks about how Alexander the Great’s empire was weakened from that point on, because a house divided against itself cannot stand.
So beginning in Daniel 11 and verse 5 you have a history lesson in advance that’s going to begin with 323 B.C. Why is that date significant? Because that’s the date of the death of Alexander the Great and the division of the Grecian empire. And the vision is going to extend all the way to 175 B.C., roughly 150 years. Why does it end in 175 B.C.? Because the focus will change in 175 B.C. The focus will be a man who will arise from the Seleucid dynasty; a man named Antiochus Epiphanes, Antiochus the IV. He then will become the subject of Daniel’s prophecies in verses 21-35. Why does he get so much attention? Because he is a prefigurement of someone that will start to be discussed beginning in verse 36, a man called the antichrist. The coming antichrist and what he will do, we’ve already had a dress rehearsal of him in the form of this man, Antiochus Epiphanes.
But before we get to that we’ve got to study verses 5-20, the history of the warfare between the Ptolemies and the Seleucids. And there’s the list, look at that. [Kings of the south: Ptolemy I, 325-285, Ptolemy II 285-247, Ptolemy III 247-221, Ptolemy IV, 221-220, Ptolemy V, 203-182. Kings of the north: Seleucus (Nicator), 312-281, Antiochus (Soter), 281-261, Antiochus Theos, 261-246, Seleucus Callinicus, 246-226, Seleucus III 226-223, Antiochus III (Great) 223-187, Seleucus IV (Philopater) 186-175, Antiochus IV (Epiphanes 175-164)]
You say are going to work through all of those names. Well, not all ov them, about 80% of them, and we’ll be making reference to that chart as we go. And over and over again as this warfare in advance is described there is a reference to the beautiful land, the land of Israel that these two powers will violate over and over again.
You’ll notice that the Seleucids and the Ptolemys are located in and around Israel and so they become the subject and the other two generals and their dynasties disappear from the radar sceeen. Why is that? Because of something God said in the Book of Ezekiel, chapter 5 and verse 5. God says, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her.’” Ezekiel 38:12 says virtually the same thing of Jerusalem, it talks about those who will invade the city and the nation in the last days, ““to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live” this is Israel “at the center of the world.”
The nation of Israel is only about the size of Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, probably about 1/19th or so of my native state of California; the nation of Israel looked at as in the way of progress by the world community. But that’s not how God things. When God looks at the city of Jerusalem and He looks at the nation of Israel He sees them dwelling at the center of the world. That’s where His redemptive program largely began and that’s where human history, until the establishment of the kingdom age will end. Isarel and Jerusalem, in the eyes of God, is a BIG deal, and BIG is capital B-I-G with eight eclamation points or nine or ten after it.
And I cannot tell you how alleviated and contented I was this week when the President of the United States moved, or put plans in place to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the historic capital of the Jewish people. [clapping] Did you know that in every embassy in the entire world the embassy is located in the capital of that country. Why should it be any different for the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. Tel Aviv, on the Mediterranean coast, is a wonderful city, I’ve been there a couple of times but it is not the historic capital of the Jews. Jerusalem is! You say where are you getting that from? Read 2 Samuel 5 sometime; 3,000 years ago, before Islam even came on the scene, in the 7th century A.D., all the way back in 1,000 B.C. David, in 2 Samuel, chapter 5, made Jerusalem the capital of the nation of Israel.
And I believe this, and some of you may disagree with me but that’s okay, I’ve got the microphone right now. [Laughter] God has raised up the United States of America for many different purposes but one of its purposes is to help the nation of Israel. Let’s not forget that it was the Founder of the United States of America, the father of our country, George Washington, who in a letter to the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, after he visited that synagogue, and you can go there to Rhode Island and see this, I visited it, I’ve been there myself, it’s all set up like a museum, George Washington in the historic letter that’s been quoted in about three Supreme Court opinions basically told the Jewish people that, by way of paraphrase, you’ve been persecuted everywhere you’ve lived but it’s not going to be that way here in the United States of America. You are going to be able to worship God as you please, on your own terms. He actually uses biblical language, you will sit under your own fig tree and no one will make you afraid.
And we wonder why God has blessed the United States of America—it’s because of that action, because Genesis 12:3, God says I will curse those who curse you of Israel and I will bless those who bless you. [Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”] George Washington gave to the Jewish people a gift they’ve never had in human history—religious freedom and religious toleration and exemption from persecution and bigotry just because they’re Jewish.
And let’s not forget… fast forward for a minute to Harry Truman, sometimes known as the cussing Baptist, who was among the first, if not the first to recognize the nation of Israel as a nation when the nation came back into existence in 1948. When you actually study the information about this what you learn is that Harry Truman was raised in the Baptist denomination and a Baptist home and he knew exactly what the Bible taught related to Cyrus of Persia, who we made reference to many times in our study through Daniel, who recognized the Jewish people and allowed them to return to their own land. Harry Truman largely saw himself as a modern day Cyrus.
And let me mention someone else to you, Richard Milhous Nixon who virtually is demonized today, I’m not defending everything that Richard Nixon did but I know this much: in what is called the Yom Kippur War, 1973, he got a call from Golda Meir, in the middle of the night—we need help, we need armaments, we need resources. She had tried to work through Henry Kissinger, a Jew himself, Kissinger’s response was well, let the Jews bleed for a while. So she picked up the red phone and went right to the President of the United States; Richard Nixon picked up the phone in the middle of the night and what he heard in his mind was stories that his mother told him as a child concerning the Book of Esther.
And I’ve been at least twice to the Nixon Memorial, they’ve got his house set up there in Southern California exactly the way it looked, the Bible there on the desk, the dresser, the table, and Richard Nixon recounts how his mother, a devout Quaker, would read to young Richard every single night from the Word of God. And he recounts how one time she was reading to him from the Book of Esther and she stopped right in the middle of that Bible study, almost like a prophet, and she said “Richard, if you’re ever in a position of power to help the Jewish people I want you to do that.” Which is what the Book of Esther, as you know, is all about. From the Book of Esther and the miraculous survival of the Jewish people we have the Feast of Lots, sometimes called Purim. And so when Nixon took this phone call in the middle of the night that’s the first thing that came to his mind and he said in his conversation to Golda Meir, I finally realize why I’ve become President of the United States, to help the Jewish people.
So we have George Washington, we have Harry Truman, we have Richard Nixon, and what just happened this week is catastrophic, not in terms of a catastrophe but in terms of something good. It’s seismic, it’s an earthquake, where Donald Trump, now the President of the United States, has recognized that Jerusalem is the historic capital of the nation of Israel. That’s what’s happened. And what you have to understand is this was denied by the world community since 1967. In 1967 in what’s called The Six Day War, June 5, 1967 a war of self-defense, unprovoked by the nation of Israel, the city of Jerusalem in its totality fell under Jewish sovereignty and Jewish control.
And it has taken 50 years for the world community, a leader of the world, like the United States, to recognize that yes, it is true, Jerusalem belongs to the nation of Israel. Why do they deny it? Because of a 7th century A.D. pagan religion called Islam. Islam, although the word “Jerusalem” is not mentioned a single time in the Quran, believes Jerusalem is their third holiest site, it is where Mohammed allegedly ascended back to Allah on a stead or a horse. Do you know what the horse’s name is? This stuff is so unbelievable I can’t make it up! The horse’s name is Barak. [Laughter]
And so ever since that point in time Islam has said Jerusalem belongs to us and they’ve put the world community in such fear that nations have not wanted to recognize Jerusalem as the historic capital of the nation of Israel. In fact, the United States Supreme Court, 2015, in a case called Zivotofsky v. Kerry, you can look it up, indicated that a passport that has Jerusalem stamped on it does not need to say Israel because after all, we know that Jerusalem is a disputed city and we don’t want to upset the Muslims, we don’t want to cause World War III, we want to make progress in terms of the so-called peace process. And President after President after President has talked about, including George W. Bush, talked about moving America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and no one has done anything about it until now.
I don’t know what you think about Donald Trump but I just want to say that what he just did is of historic implications. And he put the United States of American in so doing into her prophetic destiny, I believe. He followed right in the footsteps of George Washington, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon and now we’ve got part four where the historic capital of the nation of Israel has been recognized. And isn’t it interesting how now the leader of the Philippines is thinking about doing the same thing. All it took was one domino to follow. And isn’t it interesting that the nation of Israel got control of Jerusalem in 1967 and yet it was unrecognized as their capital. We’re now at the very end of the year 2017; why would Trump be pushing for this to happen at the end of the year in the year 2017? Do you have your calculators out? Subtract 1967 from 2017; what number do you get? You get the number 50. What’s the significance of that. Read Leviticus 25 some time.
Leviticus 25 indicates that the Jews were to be released from their debts on the 50th year. Now I don’t know if you agree with my Bible study approach today or not, I’m not sure I agree with it but the fact of the matter is it’s not an accident that he wanted to do this prior to the end of year 50. You say well Andy, if you talk like this don’t you know you’re going to cause a nuclear war… I don’t know if I have that much power. Don’t you know the President is going to cause violence?
Let me ask you a question—every time the nation of Israel concedes land, like the Gaza Strip for example, like the Temple Mount, going back to 1967, has that lessened violence? In fact, the opposite is true; the nation of Israel gave back the Gaza Strip which in the Bible is referred to as Philistia, to the Muslims. You know what they did in 2005? They had one election. Do you know who they voted into power? Hamas. And today they use that as a beachhead to launch rocket after rocket into the land of Israel. In fact, I was on my connections just this morning looking at the internet and that’s what’s happening even now as I speak. From Gaza they built what they call tunnels of terror underground to continue to attack the Jewish people. In fact, my wife and I were in Israel when those young teenagers coming home from school were kidnapped. You might recall that story.
Now I don’t know what you agree with me about this or what you believe but I just want you to recognize that we are living in monumental times. I believe Donald Trump and what he has done is has placed the United States of America back into the stream of diving blessing. And it’s so interesting, as I watched his speech very carefully, it lasted about nine minutes, and what did he have in the background? He had Christmas trees. Are we aware of the fact that the prior administration would not celebrate Christmas. We call it simply a holiday because we don’t want to be offensive. And here is the President of the United States in front of these Christmas trees sending out Christmas cards acknowledging Christmas, signing a piece of paper which gives or moves, factually it hasn’t happened, legally it has, America’s Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He’s fitting into the blueprint of George Washington, Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, and I’m so excited about this I can hardly control myself. So I say to myself, we’ve got to make a Facebook live video about this. So we go into the office to make a Facebook live video and there’s so much interruption in terms of Wi-Fi connection we had to cut the video off. So we had to keep the staff over and start the whole thing over at 5:00 o’clock.
So we did the whole thing, it was a short video, it only lasted two hours, and I was so excited when I got home to post it I hit the wrong button and the thing deleted. [Laughter] So I’m on the phone with all these tech people, can you get this back. And the answer is no, once you delete a Facebook video it’s gone. So I’ve got no one to talk about this with but you and so … [Laughter] I wanted to work this into the sermon. [More laughter] The staff doesn’t know this but they’re going to be called today to stay behind the church and we’re going to make the video all over again. Well, they may not want to go with that but we’re going to make that video one way or the other. I don’t think the devil wants this message to get out. You say well, what does that have to do with your sermon? Basically nothing! [Laughter]
But it is interesting to me that Ezekiel describes Israel and Jerusalem as the center of the nations. And we’re just living in times that to me are mind numbing in terms of their velocity. Things in terms of the end time calendar are not slowing down, they’re accelerating. And God always told us to keep your eye on Israel and keep your eye on Jerusalem and I hope you’re paying attention to this because it’s a BIG deal, capital B, capital I, capital G. What did I say, eight exclamation points, nine exclamation points.
So Cassander and Lysimachus drop off the picture and now we are moving into just a focus on two generals; the Ptolemies and the Seleucids…. By the way, I should explain this, that’s why I wore my tie today. You say where did you get that bodacious tie with the star of David on it? Israel is the Lone Star State; did you know that? [Laughter] And at the bottom it says “Pray for” what? “the peace of Jerusalem.”
So Cassander and Lysimachus drop off the map, the Ptolemies and the Seleucids come into orbit or come into focus. We are moving into this section, verses 5-20, to a key transition that’s going to begin in 198 B.C. under a man named Antiochus III, just before Antiochus IV, because Antiochus III is going to gain dominance over Israel. The Ptolemies will sort of move out of sight and the Seleucids will come into focus. Why the focus on the Seleucids? Because of these two dynasties, the Seleucid dynasty is more significant; the Seleucid dynasty is more important because from the Seleucid dynasty will come Antiochus Epiphanes, Antiochus IV. Antiochus IV is a prefigurement of the coming antichrist. So that’s sort of the trajectory of this history lesson which contains within it a lot of details.
So we are interested then in the Seleucid dynasty; that’s how it started, with General Seleucus under Alexander the great, taking us to Antiochus Epiphanes IV, who becomes a prefigurement of the coming antichrist because after the Holy Spirit reveals a lot of information about that man, Antiochus, the Holy Spirit will then leap forward beginning in verse 36, to a discussion of the anti-Christ yet future.
For those of us alive at the end of the year 2017 we are living in between the end of verse 35 and the beginning of verse 36. You say well Andy, how do you know that verse 36 and following is going to happen? Because everything prior to verse 35 has happened! Everything prior to verse 35 has happened with unmistakable clarity and detail. So why would the Holy Spirit change horses in midstream. Why would the past prophecies come to pass is in real time in history but everything beyond verse 36 would not. That just doesn’t make any sense logically. So we are living in this staggering time where the antichrist is yet future and we already have a prefigurement of Him in Antiochus IV, Epiphanes, but we can’t get to him until the Syrian Seleucid, northern kingdom gains descendancy and we can’t understand how that happens until we navigate our way through verses 5-20. As I mentioned before, history here is very selective and non-comprehensive. The Holy Spirit is not writing a book like you would have in a biography or a comprehensive history which covers every detail. It’s only focused on specific details related to the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem because the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem is at the center of the earth.
In fact, that word “center” is interesting; it’s translated in Hebrew from Ezekiel 5:5 and Ezekiel 38:12, it’s translated the navel of the earth. Another way of saying it is the bellybutton of the earth, the bellybutton being the center of the body. As far as the Creator God is concerned the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem is like the bellybutton in the body; it’s the center of everything.
[Ezekiel 5:5, “Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her.” Ezekiel 38:12, “to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.”]
And it is interesting to me that the prophet Ezekiel prophesied that the bones would come back together and form a human skeleton and the body. Ezekiel 37:11 says “these bones are the whole house of Israel,” and Ezekiel predicted that these bones would come together, making a great rattling noise. [Ezekiel 37:11, “Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say,’ ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’”]
Would you say that that rattling noise is reverberating today? What’s everybody talking about, including this pulpit? The movement of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Everybody is talking about it; that’s what God said would happen, it would come together with a great rattling noise and Jerusalem herself, Zechariah 12:3, would become a cup of trembling that causes the nations to stumble, to trip, to fall backward. [Zechariah 12:3, “It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.”]
Today as I speak all around the world this is all they can talk about—Jerusalem, once a cup of trembling, has now become even more a cup of trembling as now one of the greatest super powers on earth has recognized that Jerusalem belongs to the Israelis, not the seventh century historical revisionism of Islam.
What is at stake in verse 5-20? What is at stake here as we study these verses is history in advance; that’s what’s at stake. The things that Daniel speaks are so unbelievably accurate that the people that know this section of history the best, the liberals, they don’t believe Daniel could have written this. I mean, how could he have known all of these things with these myopic kingdoms and battles 700 years in advance. Well, we have an answer for that, don’t we. God who is omniscient and knows the end from the beginning, told Daniel what would happen.
But what if you reject God and you reject supernaturalism, you reject the idea that we have a Creator and a Redeemer who knows all things? What do you do with verses 5-20? Well, let’s just pretend that Daniel didn’t really write this; let’s make Daniel a history lesson not written by the real Daniel. They call that the Maccabean pseudepigrapha theory. Say that five times fast. Pseudepigrapha is a false writing; Maccabean is this wasn’t written in the Persian times; this was written in the Maccabean times, between the testaments. That’s what’s at stake. It’s interesting to me that those who study this the most, that are motivated by liberal anti-supernaturalism are the first people to want to change the date because they know what’s at stake.
If you had meant that this was written in which date I had you memorize, 536 B.C., then what you’ve got in front of you is a book that reveals things before they happen. And if verse 35, up to verse 35 actually happened and we are living in between verses 35 and 36, and verse 36 and everything that follows it into chapter 12 is going to happen as well.
This information can quickly turn into, if you’re not careful, a very tedious and boring history lesson. There are parts of the Bible that are like that and so when I run into sections like that I usually go to commentators who have what are called homiletical… now homiletical means preaching, preaching suggestions. How do you turn something like this from a boring history lesson into something that really relates to people’s lives. How do you turn this information into something that people hear on Sunday that they can apply on Monday?
So I pulled out one of my faithful commentaries, commentators, H. C. Leupold, and he has after every chapter preaching suggestions and I wanted to see what he said about chapter 11, and this is what he said. It didn’t occur to me very much. He said, “This chapter might be treated in Bible classes but we don’t see how it could be used in a sermon or for sermons.” So this is not going to give people the liver-quiver of the day. And so his suggestion is don’t even preach on this.
And I share this with you because I believe that this type of mentality, and this is from a very standard conservative older commentator, this very mentality I believe is largely what is destroying the modern day church. The church of Jesus Christ is being destroyed through modern day preaching methodology. Why is that? Because modern day preaching methodology gets its mindset of what should be done from the Greeks. The Greeks were the great orators. The Greeks were the ones that would put pebbles in their mouths as they went down to the river and give their speech because they figured if they could do a good speech with a pebble or two in their mouth think how good it’s going to be when they give it without the pebble in their mouth.
And so what has developed is what is called homiletics preaching, three points and a poem; they like to introduce all kinds of sociological data indicating that your average attention span is 20 minutes so don’t preach over 20 minutes. And in fact, I took several homiletical classes during my seminary years and I noticed that many of them do not have doctorates in Bible, do not have doctorates in New Testament, Old Testament, they are coming from environments where preaching methodology is what they’re emphasizing. and they bring that into Christianity. And as you stand before these professors and give your preaching they start to mark you down if you don’t do something. I was marked down because I didn’t establish emotional proof; I have no idea what that is to this day, emotional proof. Too many references to the Bible, another point off. Oh, you know, you didn’t have an application for this and an illustration for that. You didn’t have your four points and a poem, another point off. See that?
So we’ve bought into this Greek mindset of preaching and what did Paul say in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. [2 Corinthians 2:1-5, “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.  For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling,  and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”
He said I did not come with the oratorical pizzazz of the Greeks. I didn’t come with persuasiveness of speech. That’s what the Greeks have. Rather, I came with a display of the Spirit’s power. And I share this with you to let you know why so much is being chipped away from and removed from modern day preaching in terms of biblical content, because there are certain parts of the Bible where the fact of the matter is you’re not going to get your five points, or three points and a poem here. I can’t teach this with a nice illustration for each point. It is history; it’s history in advance but some of it can be very tedious, yet I am determined to teach this material. Why is that? Because of what Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” [Matthew 4:4] Wouldn’t that include Daniel 11:5-20, that God put there.
And then Jesus, in Matthew 5:18 says, “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke of the pen shall pass from the Law until all is fulfilled.” Jesus Himself, God incarnate, said this: Every word in the Bible is there because God put it there. It doesn’t matter if it personally relates to some level of need in me or not, God put it there, that makes it important. God said it, I believe it, that settles it! And it’s not just the words, it’s the strokes of the pen which make up the letters. The strokes of the pen were put there by God; the strokes of the pen make up the letters, the letters make up the words, the words make up the clauses, the clauses make up the sentences, the sentences make up the paragraphs, the paragraphs make up the books, Genesis through Revelation. The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible!
Paul, in the Book of Acts, chapter 20 and verse 27 says this: “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture,” not some, “all Scripture,” wouldn’t that include Daniel 11, “is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness.” You have to move into chapters like this and deal with them although sometimes it requires more mental work because God put these chapters here; God put these words here. God even put the smallest strokes of the pen here as well.
So here is our list that we’re going to be walking through. Notice that the list begins with Ptolemy, General Ptolemy who started the Ptolemy Dynasty, and Seleucus I who started the Seleucid dynasty. Notice, if you will, Daniel 11:5, “Then the king of the South will grow strong, along with one of his princes who will gain ascendancy over him and obtain dominion; his domain will be a great dominion indeed.” Now for each of these I have put together the key bullet points of how this prophecy was fulfilled. The King of the south, Ptolemy I, initially joined with Seleucus I of the Seleucid Dynasty but he broke away. And as he broke away he made the nation of Israel part of his empire. That’s what Daniel is seeing here in Daniel 11:5.
Notice verse 6, the prophecies skip, now we’re talking about Ptolemy II, [285-247] and Antiochus I [281-261] seems to be skipped and now we’re talking about Antiochus Theos [261-246] and you see the dates for each of these members of these various dynasties.
Look at what this says; it’s very interesting, Daniel 11:6 says, “And at the end of some years they shall join forces for the daughter of the king of the South shall go to the king of the North to make an agreement. But she shall not retain the power of her authority and neither he nor his authority shall stand but she shall be given up when those who brought her and with him who begot her and with him who strengthened her in those times.” What happened here? In order to cement the relationship between these two dynasties something happened in history that Daniel saw. He saw Bernice, the daughter of Ptolemy II married Antiochus Theos; Antiochus Theos, in order to make this work had to divorce his current wife, Laodice, and the deal was once Antiochus Theos married Bernice any children that the two of them begat as a result of that union would be heir to the throne.
And I believe that this is what Daniel is seeing in advance here in verse 6. It says, “And at the end of some time they shall join forces for the daughter of the king of the South shall go to the king of the North to make an agreement.” That’s how you entered into agreements in biblical times, internationally. Typically the princess or the daughter of the king was offered to the other king that you were making the agreement with and people say well why did Solomon have so many wives. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. And we think well what was he doing , was he doing the Hugh Hefner lifestyle, I mean, what’s going on here. And that might be part of it but really what was happening is Solomon was entering into alliance after alliance after alliance after alliance, after alliance with foreign powers. And he was gaining the benefits of it through all of these princesses who became his wives and his concubines and you know what they brought into the land of Israel, these foreign princes who became his wives? They brought in their pagan gods. And this is why Solomon, late in life, went astray; he was no longer following the Lord wholeheartedly as his father, David, had done.
And God, in the Book of Deuteronomy, over and over again says do not enter into an alliance with a pagan power. In fact, the United States Constitution, which is largely built on concepts found in the Bible (I’ve written a whole book on that if you’re interested) has within it a provision where our nation can’t enter into a treaty with another nation unless two-thirds of the Senate ratifies the treaty. The treaty power by nature in the United States is a deliberately cumbersome instrument in arrangement. And folks, I can document this, our Founding Fathers quoted the Bible more than they quoted any other single source. And the two-thirds treaty concept of Senate ratification is right out of the pages of God’s Word.
In fact, George Washington, in his farewell address, as he was leaving office, and by the way, as you probably know, they wanted to make George Washington king because of his popularity. He said no, I don’t want to be King George Washington because we just left a King George, did we not, in England. Do you want another example of what we left on American shores? And so he went back to what you’re supposed to do, you go back to normal life, you go back to farming and today people are so intoxicated with power that once you get them in office it’s a miracle to get rid of them. George Washington could have been king. Do we understand that? He could have been King of the United States and he turned it down. And as he was leaving, in his farewell address he said beware of foreign entanglements and encumbering alliances with other nations; be very leery of that. And that’s the origin, if you will, that mindset is the origin of two-thirds Senate ratification for a treaty; the whole thing. You can see what went wrong with Solomon. I believe that’s what the Founding Fathers were largely thinking of when they put these ideas together.
So you have this arrangement, Bernice, the daughter of Ptolemy 2 married Antiochus Theos; Antiochus Theos had to divorce his wife to get this to work, Antiochus Theos did something he probably shouldn’t have done because “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” Amen! Antiochus Theos brings back his former wife, Laodies if I’m pronouncing that right, when Ptolemy II died. And Laodies came back with a vengeance; she poisoned Antiochus Theos, she poisoned Bernice, she poisoned the children of Bernice and Antiochus and this is largely what is being reflected here in verse 6 when it says “but she shall not retain the power of her authority.” And those that Bernice initially brought from Egypt, they were killed as well. And as you look at verse 6 very carefully it says, “and neither nor his authority shall stand but she will be given up with those who brought her, and within him who begot her, and within him who strengthened her in those times.
I don’t know how you feel about this but it’s remarkable to me that Daniel could have known these things so far in advance. And at this point Laodies who did all of his poisoning, who did she put on the throne? She put on the throne Seleucus Callinicus and I know you are going to be e-mailing me all week to correct me with my pronunciation, Seleucus Callinicus, who became the ruler of the north, and we just made it through verse 6. Well then what happens?
Go down to verses 7-9 and here Daniel is prophecies change, he’s now focused on Ptolemy III and this guy that just came to power in the north, I believe, that I just described, Seleucus Callinicus, and notice what verses 7-9 say: “But from a branch of her roots one shall arise in his place who shall come with an army and enter the fortress of the King of the North and deal with them and prevail.” Verse 8, “And he shall carry their goods captive to Egypt with the prince and their precious articles of silver and he shall continue more years than the King of the North.” Verse 9, “Then the King of the North shall come to the King of the South but he shall return to his land.”
What happened is the brother of the poisoned Bernice, Ptolemy III, and isn’t it interesting if you look at the beginning of verse 7 it says, “But from a branch of her roots,” so it’s sort of acknowledging that Ptolemy III would be somehow connected genealogically to this Bernice who had been poisoned. The brother of the poisoned Bernice, Ptolemy III conquered the King of the north, Seleucus Callinicus, and you see that in verse 7, “shall come with an army and enter the fortress of the King of the North and deal with them and prevail.” And as he came he took strongholds; those strongholds, I believe, are described at the beginning of verse 8, he shall also carry away their goods captive to Egypt with their princes and their precious articles of silver and gold. And the counterattack by Seleucus Callinicus would be to no avail.
And you see that in verse 9 , the king of the north shall come to the king of the south but shall return to his own land. The counterattack would be fruitless and this is the very thing that Daniel is describing.
Take a look, if you could, at verse 10, now the focus shifts to Seleucus III and Antiochus III and notice verse 10, “His sons” plural, “shall stir up strife and will assemble a multitude of great forces, and one shall certainly come and overwhelm and pass through, then he shall return to his fortress and stir up strife and will assemble a multitude of great horses. And one shall certainly come and overwhelm and pass through, then he shall return to his fortress and stir up strife. It’s interesting that Seleucus Callinicus had two sons. We know that from history.
Now look again at verse 10, “However, his sons” plural “shall stir up strife. One son was Seleucus III, who died in battle. The other son is Antiochus III and this is the throne taken by Antiochus III, that’s what’s being described here. Antiochus III would become, according to this prophecy, and did become a powerful king of the north. Antiochus III took several cities in Israel from a man named Ptolemy Philopater and if you look at verse 10 that seems to be what it’s describing, and one shall certainly come and overwhelm and pass through. [Daniel 11:10, “His sons will mobilize and assemble a multitude of great forces; and one of them will keep on coming and overflow and pass through, that he may again wage war up to his very fortress.”]
Antiochus III brought the kingdom of the north to the very border, to the very doorstep, if you will, of the king of the south. It’s sort of hard to validate that’s exactly what happened unless you have some kind of expertise in this area of history. And it is interesting to me to note that those who do have this expertise are the first to tell you Daniel couldn’t have known this so many centuries in advance.
We go down to verses 11 and 12 where now the focus is on Ptolemy IV or Philopater who I just mentioned earlier and Antiochus the Great, or Antiochus III, and take a look if you could at verses 11-12. It says, “The king of the South will be enraged and go forth and fight with the king of the North. Then the latter will raise a great multitude, but that multitude will be given into the hand of the former.” Verse 12 “When the multitude is carried away, his heart will be lifted up, and he will cast down tens of thousands to fall; yet he will not prevail.”
Antiochus III, who was defeated, as we saw a reference to in the prior prophecy, recovers from his defeat and you see that recovery, I think, largely being explained in verse 13. I got a little ahead of myself because we’re still in verses 11 and 12, so let me restate that. The victories of Antiochus III aroused Ptolemy IV and if you look at the beginning of verse 11 it says, “The king of the south shall be moved with rage.” Ptolemy IV then enters into a major battle with Antiochus III. Antiochus III is favored and if you take a look at the beginning of verse11 it indicates that and it says, “and go out and fight with the king of the North,” who shall muster a great multitude. [Daniel 11:11, “The king of the South will be enraged and go forth and fight with the king of the North. Then the latter will raise a great multitude, but that multitude will be given into the hand of the former.”]
And yet who prevailed in this whole thing? Not Antiochus the III but Ptolemy IV. Look at the end of verse 11, “but that multitude shall be given into the hand of the” enemy. In other words, the side that was supposed to win didn’t win. And that happens a lot with God, doesn’t it? God says something and you would think the favor would go to one side because they have more power in a certain area and God says they’re not going to win, these guys over here, the under dogs are going to win. And God does this over and over and over again in history to show that he is the one that’s in control. It’s sort of like when God made certain prophecies in the Book of Genesis concerning Jacob and Esau, and He says there “the younger shall serve” the” what, “the elder.” In fact, it says that about nine times in the Book of Genesis, “the elder shall serve the younger.”
In the Ancient Near East it never worked that way because they were once called the rights of the firstborn. And God reverses history in sovereignty over and over again and what you discover, and you can track this right on through the Book of Genesis with character after character after character, going to Noah’s three sons, going to Cain and Abel, going to Jacob and Esau. Nine times this happens where the favor did not go to the older, like culture said, but it in fact went to the younger. Why does God keep doing that? Because He wants to show that don’t fit Me into man’s mold; once you put Me into a mold, God says, I am coming out of that mold. And so Ptolemy IV prevailed, end of verse 11, Antiochus III escaped with his very life, but is granted peace by Ptolemy IV. Ptolemy IV should have crushed the king of the North but did not do that because he chose to live a life of ease. You see that in verse 12, “when he has taken away the multitude his heart will be lifted up.” [Daniel 11:12, “When the multitude is carried away, his heart will be lifted up, and he will cause tens of thousands to fall; yet he will not prevail.”]
Isn’t it interesting that God many times puts things in our path and He says I want you to deal with this now! And we don’t because we don’t want to be inconvenienced and so what it is we are supposed to deal with gets bigger and bigger and bigger and comes back and bites us. This is exactly what happened with Ptolemy IV he should have crushed the king of the North. But he did not do it and instead decided to live a life of ease. It reminds me very much of what God said to the generation under Joshua when they entered Canaan. What did God say? I want you to take all of these Canaanites and I want you to eradicate them. He doesn’t say I want you to enroll your children in the Canaanite schools. He says I want you to homeschool your children, I want you to teach them My values and I want you to go into Canaan and I want you to eradicate every single Canaanite. And by the way, I want you to kill off the children… WOW! And I want you to kill off the women… WOW! And I want you to purge them completely out of the land of Israel.
And you say well, if that’s what God said then how is Christianity any different than Islam? Let me explain something. That was a onetime command that God gave for a specific circumstance. With Islam it’s an open ended command that has never been reversed; in fact, consistent Muslims and fundamentalist Muslims practice that command right now as I speak. But today if a Christian practiced that command they’d be violating exactly what Jesus said in the New Testament. That was a one-time command God gave. And think of the trouble the nation would have been spared from if they just did what God said. But you go into the Book of Joshua and you see that they won a victory but they let this people group settle, and this other people group over here they left alone.
You get into the Book of Judges and it’s the same thing; they left this group alone, they left that group alone, they left that group alone and contrary to the commands of God, and what happened is as is predicted in the Book of Judges, these people became a thorn in the side of the nation of Israel. They seduced the nation of Israel into idolatry and you have in the Book of Judges 300 years of the cycles of discipline; 300 years is a long time. America has only been in existence a little over 200 years. Think of being under the discipline of God for 300 years, and after the Judges era ended that gave way to a grand total, including the Judges era, 800 years of history, of constant idolatry and it got so bad that the nation of Israel, prior to the Babylonian deportation, just prior to the unfolding of the Book of Daniel as we’ve been studying it, was sacrificing their own children into a fire to satisfy a god named Molech. You would think it could never happen and yet it happened. And thus God had to send the nation of Israel into the 70 year captivity to purge them of this sin.
And you go back to the beginning and you go back to what God said to do and how the whole course of the nation, how the whole destiny of the nation would have been something different if they had dealt with the problem right then and there. This is what happened to Ptolemy IV, he did not crush the enemy when he could have.
And may I just say to you, that’s probably, or could be what’s happening in your life as I speak. There could be some area that God says over and over again deal with this! I’m convicting you of it, I’ve given you the power to deal with it and we let it go and we let it go and we let it go and finally the problem that we thought we had control over becomes so big that it comes back at us in a frightening way and actually damages or destroys our ministry, our career, our reputation.
Look at all of these things that are happening today in the secular world, regarding sexual harassment, and men in media or in work places saying inappropriate things to women, making inappropriate suggestions, entering into adultery in many cases. And you look at these careers that have been exposed and destroyed because of this and I wonder way back when if there was not some sort of nudge of conscience that said you need to deal with this problem and if you let it go unchecked you’re not going to master it, it’s going to master you.
Let me tell you something, beloved, about sin. You can’t negotiate with sin! The nature of sin is so big and so profound and it’s so damaging you can’t negotiate with it, you can’t satiate it, you have to kill it off, under God’s resources, in daily life. And if you’ll deal with that now I think the course of your whole life will be different. Have you thought recently about what God said to Cain, who was contemplating murder in Genesis 4:6, “Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?’  If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door, and its desire” that’s power, “its desire is for you but you must master it.” What if Cain had taken his murderous rage for his brother and under God gotten those sinful emotions under control? The first murder in human history wouldn’t have happened. Cain would not have been driven from the presence of the Lord.
So my exhortation, just by way of application, looking here t Ptolemy IV is whatever it is in your life deal with it now, under God’s power. And I was hoping we’d get through verse 20 today, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. So we will pick that up next time.
If you’re here today and you’re sort of drifting in or listening online, because you’re doing the religious thing, it’s highly likely you could be unsaved, unregenerate. And so our exhortation to you is to respond to the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been sent into the world to convict us of our need to trust in Christ alone for salvation. There’s only one sin that sends someone into a Christless eternity; it’s dying and never having trusted in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Jesus entered human history, He died on a cruel Roman wooden cross 2,000 years ago to pay a debt that we could not pay through our own strength. He has resurrected from the dead to demonstrate who He was, prior to His resurrection and ascension he said “It is” what? “It is finished!” Everything necessary to bridge the gap between God and man has been satisfied in Christ. We simply receive what He has done as a free gift and the only way you can receive a free gift in God is by faith, for the Bible says, “Without faith it is” what? “impossible to please God.” [Hebrews 11:6]
Our exhortation is that you, if you’re listening, unclear of this do what the Spirit is prompting you to do, which is trust in the provision of Jesus Christ. Shift your confidence away from yourself and your good works to gain right standing before God, into what Jesus and Jesus alone has done. And if that’s something you have done or are doing then on the authority of the Word of God you’ve just changed your eternal destiny. If it’s something you need more information on I’m available after the service to talk.
Shall we pray. Father, we’re grateful for this section of Scripture and these seemingly endless battles, but we’re grateful that You included this section of Scripture, even though it’s a little bit more difficult to navigate through and understand. We ask that You will continue to be with us as we work through this. Bring these things to life by way of application as we’re going to be making some deliberate applications next week, and help us to absorb these applications and to walk with You this week as a result. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said… Amen.