DANIEL 10-12

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Interpretation: to teach Jews that God is in control, ordering events to respect the Messianic desires of righteous Jews


  1. Setting (10:1-4):

While fasting, Daniel received this vision during the reign of King Cyrus of Persia, 536 BC, at the Tigris River.


  1. The Messenger (10:5-11:1):

God had heard Daniel's prayer during his fasting and immediately sent His messenger, apparently an angel. Besides providing Daniel with the prophecy, the messenger described a scene in the spiritual realm in which angels war on behalf of nations. It is implied that the predetermined course of the warring results in the events that are described in the following chapters.

For information on Darius the Mede, click here.


  1. Detailed Fulfilled Prophecies (11:2-35):

This portion is extraordinary because of the exact fulfillments of the very detailed prophecies of events that have taken place after the lifetime of Daniel and before our lifetimes.

In the table that follows, the players are listed in the order they first appear in the text.

Reference & Dates





530-465 BC



  •   first king (verse 2a)



Darius I Hystaspes


  •   third king (verse 2a)

Xerxes I


  • fourth king (verse 2b)

  • led an expedition that occupied Athens, Greece (verse 2b)

  • later his naval fleet defeated by Greece

  • another defeat by Greece followed


356-323 BC

Alexander the Great


  • built the Greek empire (verse 4a)

  • upon his death the empire was divided up into four parts (verse 4a)

  • each part was ruled by one of Alexander's generals (verse 4b)


323-281 BC

Ptolemy I Soeter


  • king of the south (verse 5a)

  • one of Alexander's generals

  • there were frequent struggles between the southern and the northern kingdoms

Seleucus I Nictar


  • king of the north

  • one of Alexander's generals who served under Ptolemy I at one time (verse 5b)


261-246 BC



  •   daughter of the king of the south (verse 6b)

Ptolemy II Philadelphus


  • demanded the marriage of Berenice, his daugther, & Antiochus II, to establish a North-South alliance (verse 6a)

Antiochus II Theos


  • had to divorce his wife to marry Berenice

  • took back his original wife upon the death of Ptolemy II (verse 6c)

  • his original wife murdered him & Berenice (verse 6d)


246-221 BC

Ptolemy III Evergetes


  •   was Berenice's brother & sought to avenge her death by attacking Syria (verse 7a)

  • brought Egyptian treasures back from Persia (verse 8a)

Seleucus II Callinicus


  •   after Ptolemy III's success in Syria, he made a peace treaty with Seleucus II (verse 8b)

  • later Seleucus II invaded the northern part of the Egyptian territory (verse 9)


223-187 BC

Antiochus III the Great


  •   assembles a great empire including Palestine (verse 10)

  • was killed by subjects resisting his pillaging to be able to pay tribute to Rome after his defeat by Lucius Asiaticus (verse 19)

Ptolemy IV Philopator


  •   for a while withstood Antiochus III's incursion into Palestine (verse 11-16)


  •   daughter of Antiochus III (verse 17b)

  • wife of Ptolemy V (verse 17b)

  • a marriage arranged by Antiochus III to impose Syrian influence over Egypt (verse 17a)

  • but Cleopatra becomes loyal to Egypt (verse 17c)

Ptolemy V Epiphanes


  •   husband of Cleopatra (verse 17b)



  •   Egyptian general (verse 18b)

  • counteroffensive against Syria briefly successful (verse 18b)

  • ultimately forced back out of the Palestine by Antiochus III

Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus


  •   defeated Antiochus III in Asia (verse 19)

  • dictated severe terms against Antiochus III (verse 19)


187-175 BC

  Seleucus IV Philopator


  •   son of Antiochus III (verse 20a)



  • assigned by Seleucus IV to raise funds by plundering the Jewish Temple (verse 20b)

  • Heliodorus killed Seleucus IV by poisoning him (verse 20c)


175-164 BC

Antiochus IV Epiphanes

These verses are not in exact chronological order.


  • the little horn of Daniel 8

  • hostage in Rome for 14 years

  • successor of Seleucus IV but was the second son of Antiochus III (verse 21a)

  • Seleucus's IV's son, Demetrius I, was next in line for the throne but could not reign because he was still a hostage in Rome (verse 21b)

  • invaded Egypt (verse 21c)

  • used politics to cause the submission of Egypt by installing his own ruler, Ptolemy VI Philometor (verses 21d, 23, 25)

  • while Antioch IV and Ptolemy VI were celebrating around a banquet table, they were already plotting against each other (verses 26-27)

  • demonstrates a bias against the Jews (verse 28)

  • carried on expeditions to Egypt to insure its submission (verse 22a)

  • was also successful elsewhere following his confrontation with Laenas (verse 24)

  • vented his wrath on Jews after he was forced to stand down by Laenas (verses 29-35) [1]

Gaius Popillius Laenas


  • told Antiochus IV to leave Egypt or be attacked by Rome (verse 22b)

Some of the sources for the information in the above table are: http://www.livius.org/se-sg/seleucids/seleucids.html, http://www.pinn.net/~sandh/RulersCoins/ptolemyPic.htm, http://www.soa.org.uk/main/resource/coins/coins03.htm, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Daniel, Expositor's Bible Commentary, volume 7, Ryrie Study Bible, expanded ed., and John F. Walvoord, Daniel, the Key to Prophetic Revelation.

[1] The books Maccabees are not inspired but furnish an account of the related events:

"On the fifteenth day of the month Kislev in the year 145, 'the abomination of desolation' was set up on the altar. Pagan altars were built throughout the towns of Judaea; incense was offered at the doors of houses and in the streets. All scrolls of the law which were found were torn up and burnt. Anyone discovered in possession of a Book of the Covenant, or conforming to the law, was put to death by the king's sentence. Thus month after month these wicked men used their power against the Israelites whom they found in their towns."

"On the twenty-fifth day of the month they offered sacrifice on the pagan altar which was on top of the altar of the Lord. In accordance with the royal decree, they put to death women who had had their children circumcised. Their babies, their families, and those who had circumcised them, they hanged by the neck. Yet many in Israel found strength to resist, taking a determined stand against eating any unclean food. They welcomed death rather than defile themselves and profane the holy covenant, and so they died. The divine wrath raged against Israel (1 Maccabees 1:54-64, NEB)."

"Shortly afterwards King Antiochus sent an elderly Athenian to force the Jews to abandon their ancestral customs and no longer regulate their lives according to the laws of God. He was also commissioned to pollute the temple at Jerusalem and dedicate it to Olympian Zeus, and to dedicate the sanctuary on Mount Gerizim to Zeus God of Hospitality, following the practice of the local inhabitants."

". . . The Gentiles filled the temple with licentious revelry: they took their pleasure with prostitutes and had intercourse with women in the sacred precincts. They also brought forbidden things inside, and heaped the altar with impure offerings prohibited by the law. . . . (2 Maccabees 6:1-5, NEB)."

The entire account in 1 & 2 Maccabees lists many more horrible incidents that Syria committed against the Jews.


  1. Detailed Unfulfilled, Yet Future, Prophecies (11:36-12:13):





Activities of the Antichrist

  • Antiochus IV was apparently a type of the future Antichrist

  • these verses are not the description of any known person including Antiochus IV

  • these verses are descriptive of the antitype, the Antichrist


The Resurrection

  • both the righteous and the unrighteous will be raised

  • the righteous go into everlasting life

  • the unrighteous go into everlasting punishment

12:4, 9-10

Sealing the Prophecies

  • indicates that there will be difficulty in understanding these prophecies

  • finally, as Monday morning quarterbacks, some righteous men will understand (verse 10)

  • apparently by the time that Revelation 22:10 was written, greater understanding was possible


Events Around the Time of the Tribulation

time, times, and a half a time (verse 7)

  • the 7 year reign of the Antichrist

1,260 days (verse 7)

  • the period from the end of daily sacrifice to Messiah's return

1,290 days (verse11)

  • possibly the period from the end of daily sacrifice to the end of judgments [2]

1,335 days (verse 12)

  • possibly the period from the end of daily sacrifice to a functional Messianic Kingdom [2]

[2] So speculates John F. Walvoord, Daniel, the Key to Prophetic Revelation, pages 295-296.

HOME 2002, Ken Bowles, September 30, 2010, Edition

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