The Christ in Prophecy Journal

Prophetic History from Daniel 11: Antiochus Epiphanes and the Antichrist

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In the third segment in our deep dive into the prophetic history from Daniel 11, we saw how the Jewish people were introduced into the conflicts of the Intertestamental history. Now we will conclude by seeing how the Jewish people survived the Abomination of Desolation that also foreshadows the coming of the Antichrist.

The Abomination of Desolation

In Daniel 11:31, the angel informed Daniel that many of his people would profane the Sabbath and sacrifice to idols. The ultimate desecration of the holy Temple happened when Antiochus Epiphanes set up the “abomination of desolation.” (1 Maccabees 1, and 2 Maccabees 6).

  • Antiochus Epiphanes erected an image of Zeus and sacrificed a pig on the altar.
  • He outlawed Sabbath observations.
  • He ordered a cease to any sacrifice offering.
  • His soldiers engaged in prostitution and sexual perversion took place in the Temple area.

In verse 32, the angel informed Daniel how the Jews would respond. Antiochus Epiphanes gained control of the entire population by pitting one section of the population (the apostate) against the other (the faithful). He then placed those apostates in positions of authority, which led to the revolt of the Maccabees against the Syrian king. Those who “remained strong in the Lord” defeated every army Antiochus sent against them (again recorded in the historical books of 1 Maccabees 2:1-13:53 and 2 Maccabees 8:1-15:39).

The Hasidims

In Daniel 11:33, the angel speaks prophetically of a group known as the Hasidims. Even in persecution, this group continued to teach about the Laws of Moses. They formed a small army to join in the revolt, but they would not fight on the Sabbath and were slaughtered. Their enemies knew they would not fight on the Sabbath, so they attacked that day. Second Maccabees 6:18-31 speaks of the scribe Eleazar, who recorded this event.

The Maccabees

In Daniel 11:34 predicts the fall of the Maccabees. The Maccabees succeeded in freeing Israel from the Syrians, but at a significant cost. None of the five Macabee brothers died of natural causes as three died in battle and two died due to treason. This fulfilled the prophecy, “They shall fall.” We know later the apostates did succeed in corrupting the descendants of the Maccabees.

Verse 35 tells why God would allow the persecution of His people. Three reasons are given: to refine them, to purify them, and to purge them. (Hebrews 11:17-19; James 1:3).

The Antichrist

In Daniel 11:35 is another key transition from Antiochus Epiphanes to the Antichrist. What one did in history the other will do in the future.

Daniel 11:36 describes the Antichrist. Previously, in Daniel, the Antichrist had been identified as “the little horn” (7:8, 20) and “the coming prince” (9:26). Now, the angel described him as a willing king, meaning he would claim to be God himself (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, Revelation 13:1-8). The Antichrist will speak blasphemies against God and will exalt himself and, for a short time, will succeed in deceiving people.

Verse 37 describes three characteristics of the Antichrist. He will show no regard for his fathers’ gods or for any desire for women. He will not show regard for any other god, and he will magnify himself above all the gods of his fathers, who are any of the pagan gods.

In the Jewish culture, who at this time in history have yet to receive Jesus as the Messiah, Jewish women hope that they may be the ones chosen to be the channel through which the Messiah comes. The Antichrist has no desire for women because he desires to be in that place, the “messiah” himself.

Verse 38 describes that the Antichrist will accept Satan as the supreme power. His ability to conquer will come from Satan. Satan will give his authority over the world’s kingdoms to the Antichrist. Verse 39 describes the power the Antichrist will have. He will receive supernatural power to conquer the mightiest strongholds (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10; Revelation 13:1-80). Also, he will grant power to anyone who acknowledges him, and those who confess or recognize the Antichrist as God will be rewarded.

The Tribulation

Daniel 11:40 describes a war that will break out in the Tribulation. This will divide the ten Gentile nations and Israel. This ten-king political structure will exist during the first three and half years. In the middle of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will kill three kings (horns).

Verse 40 also describes the beginning of the war. The Antichrist’s military campaign will eventually focus on the land of Israel, but first, he will have to overcome an attack by the kings of the South and the North.

In Ezekiel, the prophet speaks of the “uttermost parts of the north,” which is Russia. In Daniel, the term “uppermost part” is not used. In Daniel 11, the king of the North is Syria. The attack will come with chariots, horsemen, and ships, meaning the attack will be from both an army and a navy.

Verse 41 describes that during this war the nation of Israel will fall. This means the Antichrist will attack and conquer the Temple compound and control it for three and a half years (Revelation 11:1-2). This will set the stage for the Abomination of Desolation (Matthew 24:15-16).

After attacking the “glorious land” (Israel), the Antichrist will enter the Tribulation Temple and set up a throne for himself. Then, he will declare himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). This is when the Antichrist will gain political control over the world.

The areas that will escape the Antichrist’s control will be Edom, Moab, and Ammon (modern-day Jordan). God will ensure His people have a place to which they can flee during the second half of the Tribulation. This place will be outside the political domain of the Antichrist.

Daniel 11:42 describes the fall of Egypt, which is also recorded in Daniel 7:8; 7:20; and 7:24, which prophesied that the Antichrist would kill three of the ten kings. This verse reveals the first king to be killed will be from the South, meaning Egypt.

Verse 43 describes the consequence of this victory. After conquering Egypt and collecting its spoils, the Antichrist will have unhindered access to Africa. The fall will include the takeover of Libya and Ethiopia. Verse 44 then describes the fall of Mesopotamia and Syria. In Scripture, the east is not China, but it is Mesopotamia, which is modern-day Iraq. When the Antichrist becomes aware of the “news from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction.” This explains how he will respond in rage and will utterly destroy those areas.

Daniel 11:45 describes where the Antichrist will set up his headquarters, “he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain.” The Hebrew word for tent here is a military tent, specifically the general’s tent. This is between the Mediterranean Sea and the Temple Mount.

This prophecy ends with the death of the Antichrist. Revelation 13:3,12 speaks to the resurrection of the Antichrist. I do not believe he will literally be resurrected, rather I believe this will all be part of the deception the Scripture talks about. This coming back to life will be the great deception, “One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound” (Revelation 13:3), which will cause the other seven kings to follow this lying, deceiving authority entirely.

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ABOUT AUTHOR View all posts Author Website

Dr. David Bowen

Dr. David Bowen serves part-time at Lamb & Lion Ministries as the Teaching Evangelist. He pastors Standing Stones Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona.

2 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • It is unlikely the antichrist is a military figure. He is, as his name implies, the opposite of Christ, and performs many false miracles and wonders. Has anyone ever heard of a military leader who also performs miracles? The military and the spiritual lines are always completely separate.

  • So glad Lamb & Lion is teaching the Book of Daniel. What an amazing story in depth, of how Daniel survived in captivity and never lost his faith, and even when King Darius commanded that Daniel be cast into the Lions Den and said to Daniel, “May your God whom you serve continually, deliver you! Indeed, God sent his angel and shut the lion’s mouths, and they did not harm Daniel. The Power of the Lord over all things!


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