Daniel 11 is an overview of the nations controlling Israel from the time of Cyrus to the reign of Herod the Great.
The key to understanding the prophecies in Daniel is knowing about “THE GAP”
The image of chapter 2, the 70 week prophecy and the combined prophecies of chapters 11 & 12 all have a gap where the prophecy stops at the time of the Romans & Christ (who is ‘cut off’ in the middle of the last 7) and then re-commences in the last days – the days of the ten toe Arab kingdoms. (see diagram)
Far Right: Gap of Daniel 2 (Click image to enlarge)
Right: GAP of 70 weeks Prophecy (Click to enlarge)
For The GAP of the 70 weeks prophecy (Daniel 9) see https://youtu.be/jPfRLxRZtPo
When Jesus came He proclaimed the last Jubilee or ‘7’ of the 70 week prophecy of Daniel 9. He read half a jubilee passage out of Isaiah 61. He knew He would be cut off, that is why He stopped reading in the middle of the passage. He knew the last half was after a long time gap when He would return in the year of vengeance.
Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the acceptable year of our Lord.”
JESUS STOPPED READING – THE GAP
The passage continues – “And the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes”
The same GAP occurs between Chapter 11 & 12 of Daniel. Chapter 11 is the history until the time of Herod the Great and the coming of Messiah. Chapter 12 begins at the time of the end and discusses the final week of Daniel’s 70 week prophecy which brings in everlasting righteousness. Daniel 12 is sealed until the time of the end – the last ‘7’ of the 70 week prophecy. This final phase is unsealed by Jesus as per Rev 5:5 “Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”
Daniel 11 provides such an explicit history of the events leading up to the time of Herod the Great that critics say it must have been history written after the events. Those who believe in the creator of the universe who is not bound by time, and reveals the future, know that He not only revealed the future to Daniel, but He has revealed it to us.
The summary below is adapted from research by Bryan T. Huie
Text of Daniel in ITALICS – Explanatory comments BOLD
11 1 And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him. (This was also the year Cyrus captured Babylon 539/8BC – Cyrus and Darius the Mede co-ruled)
2 “And now I will show you the truth. Behold, three more kings (after Cyrus) shall arise in Persia; (Cambyses, Bardya,Darius 1) and a fourth shall be far richer than all of them; (Xerxes 1) and when he has become strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece.
(In 480 BC, Xerxes personally led the second Persian invasion of Greece with one of the largest ancient armies ever assembled.)
Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion and do according to his will. (Alexander the Great 356- 332) 4 And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity, nor according to the dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be plucked up and go to others besides these.
5 “Then the king of the south (Ptolemies) shall be strong, but one of their princes shall be stronger than he (Seleucus) and his dominion shall be a great dominion. 6 After some years they shall make an alliance, and the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to make peace; but she shall not retain the strength of her arm, and he and his offspring shall not endure; but she shall be given up, and her attendants, her child, and he who got possession of her.
(In 249 BCE, king of the South Ptolemy II Philadelphus sent his daughter Berenice to king of the North Antiochus II Theos to stop the war that was raging (the Second Syrian War) and unite the two kingdoms through marriage. Antiochus II put away his wife Laodice and married Berenice. She persuaded him to reject Laodice’s children and set up her own. After Ptolemy II died Antiochus II repudiated his marriage to Berenice and left her and their infant son to return to Laodice. Laodice murdered Antiochus II with poison. She then convinced her son, Seleucus II Callinicus, to kill both Berenice and her son. So, Ptolemy II king of the South, his daughter Berenice, and Antiochus II king of the North all lost in their struggle for power.)
7 “In those times a branch[b] from her roots shall arise in his place; he shall come against the army and enter the fortress of the king of the north, and he shall deal with them and shall prevail.
(Ptolemy III Euergetes, the eldest son of Ptolemy II and brother of Berenice, was not happy about the murder of his sister. He invaded the Seleucid empire. His armies defeated the forces of Seleucus II- son of Antiochus II and Laodice and put to death Laodice.)
He shall also carry off to Egypt their gods with their molten images and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and for some years he shall refrain from attacking the king of the north.
(During the Third Syrian War, Ptolemy III recovered many of the statues that the Persian forces of Cambyses had carried off during their conquest of Egypt 300 years earlier. Because of this, he was known as Euergetes (“Benefactor”). Ptolemy III acquired much gold and silver during his victorious campaign.)
9 Then the latter shall come into the realm of the king of the south but shall return into his own land.
(In 240 BCE Seleucus II attempted to invade Egypt in response to the humiliation he suffered at the hands of Ptolemy III. He had to return in defeat after his fleet perished in a storm.)
10 “His sons shall wage war and assemble a multitude of great forces, which shall come on and overflow and pass through, and again shall carry the war as far as his fortress.
(The sons of Seleucus II were Seleucus III Ceraunos and Antiochus III. Seleucus III, began a war against the Egyptian provinces in Asia Minor. He was unsuccessful, and was assassinated by members of his army in Asia Minor in 223 BCE. Antiochus III, took the throne at the age of 18 after his brother’s death. He victoriously went through Judea, coming almost to the borders of Egypt.)
11 Then the king of the south, moved with anger, shall come out and fight with the king of the north; and he shall raise a great multitude, but it shall be given into his hand.
(Antiochus III met Ptolemy IV Philopater at the Battle of Raphia (also known as the Battle of Gaza) in 217 BCE. Antiochus III, the king of the North, had 62,000 infantry, 6,000 calvary, and 103 war elephants. But the forces of Ptolemy IV, king of the South, were victorious in the battle. Antiochus III was forced to withdraw into Lebanon.)
12 And when the multitude is taken, his heart shall be exalted, and he shall cast down tens of thousands, but he shall not prevail. 13 For the king of the north shall again raise a multitude, greater than the former; and after some years[c] he shall come on with a great army and abundant supplies.
(After the death of Ptolemy IV in 204 BCE, Antiochus III rallied his forces once again to attack the kingdom of the South. In the Fifth Syrian War (202-195 BCE), Antiochus III swept down into Judea from Syria. He retook the territory that he had occupied some eighteen years previously. When Antiochus III withdrew for the winter, the Egyptian commander Scopas reconquered the southern portions of the lost territory, including Judea and Jerusalem.)
14 “In those times many shall rise against the king of the south; and the men of violence among your own people shall lift themselves up in order to fulfil the vision; but they shall fail. 15 Then the king of the north shall come and throw up siegeworks, and take a well-fortified city. And the forces of the south shall not stand, or even his picked troops, for there shall be no strength to stand.
(Following his defeat at Paneas, Scopas fled to the fortified port city of Sidon. But after Antiochus III besieged it, Scopas surrendered in 199 BCE in exchange for safe passage out of the city back to Egypt. He and his troops were allowed to leave the city naked after giving up their weapons.)
16 But he who comes against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him; and he shall stand in the glorious land, and all of it shall be in his power.
(With his final victory over Scopas at Sidon, Antiochus the Great took the Holy Land away from the Egyptians for good. Judea and Jerusalem had passed from the king of the South to the king of the North.)
17 He shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and he shall bring terms of peace and perform them. He shall give him the daughter of women to destroy the kingdom but it shall not stand or be to his advantage.
(Ptolemy V entered into a treaty with Antiochus III after his military defeat in the Fifth Syrian War. He surrendered his Asian holdings to the king of the North and accepted Antiochus III’s daughter, Cleopatra I, as a bride. They were married in 194 BCE. He sought to gain a foothold in Egypt through his daughter. But Cleopatra I was a true wife to Ptolemy V, standing by him instead of seeking to benefit her father.)
18 Afterward he shall turn his face to the coastlands, and shall take many of them; but a commander shall put an end to his insolence; indeed he shall turn his insolence back upon him.
(Antiochus III went to war against Rome. With 10,000 men, Antiochus III sailed across the Aegean Sea and took some strongholds in Asia Minor. But he alienated his former ally, Macedonian king Philip V. The Roman army entered Asia Minor and defeated the larger forces of Antiochus III at the Battle of Magnesia in 190 BCE. In the peace treaty of Apamea in 188 BCE, Roman general Publius Scipio demanded twenty hostages (including his son, Antiochus IV), a reduction of naval ships to twelve, and payment to Rome for the cost of the war totaling 15,000 talents over the next twelve years. The all-consuming ambition of Antiochus III brought defeat to the kingdom of the North.)
19 Then he shall turn his face back toward the fortresses of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and shall not be found.
(With his kingdom now reduced to Syria, Mesopotamia, and western Iran, Antiochus III was in dire need of funds with which to pay Rome for the cost of the war. In 187 BCE, while attempting to plunder a pagan temple in Babylon near Susa, Antiochus III was murdered.)
20 “Then shall arise in his place one who shall send an exactor of tribute through the glory of the kingdom; but within a few days he shall be broken, neither in anger nor in battle.
(AntiochuSeleucus IV Philopater, took over after his father’s death. Due to the heavy debt burden imposed by Rome, he was forced to seek an ambitious taxation policy on his shrunken empire. This included heavy taxation on the people of Israel. The Roman senate decided to trade hostages; therefore, they ordered Seleucus IV to send his son Demetrius, the heir to the throne, to Rome. In return, the Romans released Seleucus IV’s younger brother, Antiochus IV. When released, Antiochus IV went to Athens. In 175 BCE, after Demetrius had been sent away to Rome, Seleucus IV was poisoned by his minister Heliodorus.)
21 In his place shall arise a contemptible person to whom royal majesty has not been given; he shall come in without warning and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
(Antiochus IV arrived in Seleucia with a powerful ally and thwarted Heliodorus’ designs on the throne. He became co-regent and protector of Seleucus IV’s infant son (also named Antiochus). In 170 BCE, the younger Antiochus was murdered while Antiochus IV was conveniently absent, paving the way for him to take sole possession of the throne.)
22 Armies shall be utterly swept away before him and broken, and the prince of the covenant also.
(Because of his ability to charm people and ally himself with them, Antiochus IV Epiphanes (“God manifest”) was able to overcome all threats to his throne. The prince of the covenant is a reference to the Jewish high priest Onias III. A brother of Onias named Joshua, who had become hellenized and changed his name to Jason, made a deal with Antiochus IV. Jason told him that he would pay Antiochus IV a large bribe if he would remove Onias and make him high priest in his place. So Antiochus IV forced Onias out and installed his brother Jason as high priest in Jerusalem in 174 BCE. In 172 BCE, Jason sent a priest named Menelaus to Antiochus IV with his tribute money. However, Menelaus took Jason’s money, and bribed Antiochus IV to secure the high priesthood for himself. Menelaus then returned to Jerusalem and deposed Jason, who fled for his life.)
23 And from the time that an alliance is made with him he shall act deceitfully; and he shall become strong with a small people.
(In Egypt, 14-year old Ptolemy VI Philometer had become king. He was the nephew of Antiochus IV; his mother (Cleopatra I) was Antiochus IV’s sister. Antiochus IV sought an alliance with Ptolemy VI, seeking to take advantage of what he perceived as weakness in the Ptolemaic kingdom and gain Egypt for himself. He moved through Syria and Judea into Egypt with a small army, so as to not arouse suspicion to his true motive, and seized Egypt. His cover story was that he was coming to act as the “protector” of his nephew, Ptolemy VI.)
24 Without warning he shall come into the richest parts of the province; and he shall do what neither his fathers nor his fathers’ fathers have done, scattering among them plunder, spoil, and goods. He shall devise plans against strongholds, but only for a time.
(Antiochus IV moved into the parts of the kingdom that were the richest. He spread around some of the spoils from his war campaigns to secure the loyalty of the people. The historical book of I Maccabees states that he spent much on the public (I Mac. 3:30). It is reported that he would go into the streets and throw money to the citizens there. Using his cunning, he visited Egyptian strongholds to find out their power.)
25 And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall wage war with an exceedingly great and mighty army; but he shall not stand, for plots shall be devised against him.
(In 170 BCE, Antiochus IV decided to take Egypt by force in the Sixth Syrian War. He moved his army to the border of Egypt before he was met by the Egyptians at Pelusium. The Egyptians had a large army arrayed against him there. Antiochus, risking death by riding into the midst of the battle of Pelusium, ordered the Egyptians to be taken alive instead of slain. By this policy, he gained Pelusium and later took Memphis.)
26 Even those who eat his rich food shall be his undoing; his army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain.
(Ptolemy VI’s army, although large, was not able to withstand Antiochus IV. In large part, this was due to the intrigues of Antiochus IV, who corrupted several of the Egyptian ministers and officers. This was one of the main causes of the defeat of Ptolemy VI. Those who were in his confidence and possessed the secrets of the state betrayed him to Antiochus IV. For example, Ptolemy Macron (also called “Ptolemy the son of Dorymenes”) had been appointed by Ptolemy VI as governor of Cyprus. However, sensing the young king’s weakness, he deserted to Antiochus IV, who made him governor of Coele Syria and Phoenicia.)
27 And as for the two kings, their minds shall be bent on mischief; they shall speak lies at the same table, but to no avail; for the end is yet to be at the time appointed.
(Antiochus IV set his sights on Alexandria. Due to the intrigues of Antiochus IV the Alexandrians had renounced their allegiance to Ptolemy VI, and had made his younger brother, Ptolemy VII Euergetes, king. While at Memphis, Antiochus IV and Ptolemy VI had frequent conferences. Antiochus IV professed his great friendship to his nephew and concern for his interests, but his true plan was to weaken Egypt by setting the brothers against one another. Conversely, Ptolemy VI professed gratitude to his uncle for the interest he took in his affairs. He laid the blame of the war upon his minister Eulaeus, one the guardians appointed to watch over him after his father’s death. All the while, Ptolemy VI sought to smooth over things with his brother Ptolemy VII so they could join forces against their uncle, Antiochus IV.)
28 And he shall return to his land with great substance, but his heart shall be set against the holy covenant. And he shall work his will, and return to his own land.
(Antiochus IV left Egypt; on his way home, he and his armies marched against Jerusalem. He commanded his soldiers to kill everyone they encountered (men, women, and children). Within the space of three days, his forces had killed somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 people. A similar number were captured and sold into slavery. He entered the Temple and) took the holy vessels, including the golden altar, the menorah, the table for the showbread, the cups for drink offerings, the bowls, the golden censers, the curtain, the crowns, and the gold decoration on the front of the temple. He took all the silver and gold, as well as the hidden treasures which he found. After appointing the Phrygian Phillip as governor in Jerusalem, Antiochus IV then returned to Antioch.)
29 “At the time appointed he shall return and come into the south; but it shall not be this time as it was before.
(In Egypt brothers Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VII reconciled and agreed to share power. This annulled Antiochus IV’s alliance with Ptolemy VI and caused his loss of control over the Ptolemaic kingdom. Because of this, in 168 BCE Antiochus IV once again sought to go to war against Egypt. However, this time he would not have the same success as he achieved previously.)
30 For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and give heed to those who forsake the holy covenant.
(The Ptolemy brothers appealed to Rome for help. In order to check the threat of Greek expansion, the Romans agreed to provide assistance. The “ships from Kittim” here refer to the ships which brought the Roman legions to Egypt. Antiochus IV and his army marched toward Alexandria, they were met by three Roman senators with the demand that he withdraw from Egypt. The king of the North was astonished at this display of Roman arrogance, but after a brief time, said he would do all that the Romans demanded. On his return to Syria, he tried to ease the humiliation he had suffered at the hands of the Romans by taking out his frustration on the Jews in Judea. His armies encircled Jerusalem and then attacked. All those Jews who resisted were executed. However, the pro Hellenistic Jews who allied themselves with Antiochus IV were left unharmed.)
31 Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the continual burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.
(Antiochus IV’s army desecrated the Temple and stopped the daily sacrifices. On the 15th of Kislev, in December 168 BCE, the Syrians built a pagan altar over the altar of burnt offering in the Temple and placed an image of Zeus Olympius upon it. Ten days later, on the 25th of Kislev, swine’s flesh was offered on the altar to Zeus.)
32 He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant; but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.
(Antiochus IV decreed that his entire kingdom should become one people, each giving up his own customs. The other peoples under his rule accepted Antiochus IV’s command. Because of his flattering approach, many of the people of Israel also forsook the Law and adopted his religion. He commanded a change in all the ordinances of God. No sacrifices were to be offered in the sanctuary, the Sabbaths and feasts were to be profaned, the Jews were not to circumcise their sons. Upon pain of death, they were commanded to profane the true religion so that eventually the Law would be forgotten. Antiochus IV appointed inspectors to watch the Jews and commanded the cities of Judah to offer pagan sacrifices. Yet many in Israel stood firm and rejected the innovations of the king of the North.)
33 And those among the people who are wise shall make many understand, though they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder, for some days.
(Copies of the Torah were burned. Anyone in possession of a Torah was put to death. Women who had their children circumcised were put to death, along with their entire families and those who had circumcised them. Many in Israel chose to die rather than to break the holy covenant.)
34 When they fall, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery;
(The decrees of Antiochus IV led to a rebellion started by the priest Mattathias and his five sons (including Judas Maccabee). Judas Maccabee defeated the large army of Antiochus IV’s general Apollonius. Seron, the commander of the Syrian army, came against the forces of Judas. His army was also defeated by Judas, and his fame spread all the way to Antioch. King Antiochus IV was greatly angered by the exploits of Judas he gave his soldiers a year’s wages, ordering them to be ready for whatever action needed to be taken.
Antiochus IV left his general Lysias in charge of his son and half of his army, with instructions to attack and destroy Jerusalem and Judea. Lysias sent an army of 40,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry and marched into Judea. He met the forces of Judas Maccabee (3,000 poorly equipped men) near Emmaus. However, despite being vastly outnumbered, Judas’ army routed the Syrians, killing 3,000 and putting the rest to flight.
In 165 BCE, Lysias again sent the Syrian army (now numbering 60,000 infantrymen and 5,000 cavalry) against the Jewish forces, which had risen to 10,000. This time, 5,000 Syrians were killed and Lysias fled back to Antioch. Because of his great victory, Judas and his men were able to recapture the Temple. In 164 BCE, Antiochus IV’s army was defeated at Elymais, Persia when he attempted to plunder the city of its gold and silver. Soon thereafter, a messenger came from Antioch and notified him of the defeat of his armies by Judas and the Jews. Terribly shaken by these events, he fell sick and became bedridden. Antiochus IV died shortly after that.)
35 and some of those who are wise shall fall, to refine and to cleanse them and to make them white, until the time of the end, for it is yet for the time appointed.
(After the death of Judas Maccabee in battle in 161 BCE, persecution continued upon the Jews. Many Jews who had opposed Judas and his goals took opportunity after his death to persecute and kill righteous Jews.)
Beginning with Mattathias’ leadership of the rebellion against Antiochus IV, the rule of the Hasmoneans (named after Mattathias’ grandfather, Asmoneus) lasted from 168 until 37 BCE. The words “until the time of the end” refer to the end of this second period of Jewish sovereignty. The “appointed time” refers to the 70 weeks of years that Gabriel had earlier told Daniel about (Dan. 9:24-27), which led to the appearance of the Messiah.
36 The king shall do according to his will; he shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is determined shall be done
The king in verse 36 is talking of Herod the Great. He is not called the king of the North (who at this time was Octavius) or the king of the South (Antony & Cleopatra), but “the king.”
Herod was king of Judea whilst power struggles amongst the Romans were going on around him.
The first thing said of the King in v 36 is that he would “do according to his own will.”
Success in achieving and maintaining power also defined Herod the Great.
37 He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.
Even though Herod was an Idumean (a descendant of Esau), his family had converted to Judaism in the 2nd century BCE. Therefore, Herod was generally regarded as a Jew. Yet he promoted Greek and Roman gods and built the port city of Caesarea (named after the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus),
“The Desire of Women”
Herod showed no regard for Jesus – the one desired of women. He saw Him as a threat to His throne and had the babies of Bethlehem murdered.
38 He shall honor the god of fortresses instead of these; a god whom his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 39 He shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god; those who acknowledge him he shall magnify with honor. He shall make them rulers over many and shall divide the land for a price.
Herod’s actions in securing and holding on to power provide an impressive fulfillment of this verse. The Roman emperors proclaimed themselves to be “gods,” and it was by their military “forces” or “fortresses” that they enlarged and sustained their power and their empire. Herod was quick to honor the warring Roman rulers with tribute and building projects. He rebuilt many fortresses in the land and temples in surrounding Gentile areas, including three temples dedicated to Caesar Augustus. He rebuilt the ancient Phoenician coastal fort called Strato’s Tower and renamed it Caesarea in honor of Caesar Augustus; he rebuilt Samaria, and renamed it Sebaste (sebastos was the Greek word for “reverend,” equivalent to the Latin augustus). He built many other fortified cities and named them in honor of Caesar. Herod also introduced Greek-style games in honor of Caesar. He often sent delegations to Rome to deliver valuable gifts and money to show his respect to Caesar.
Using the support and backing of the Roman emperor, Herod was able to overcome all of his foes. Herod gave land and authority to those who supported him in order to secure their allegiance.
v 40He shall conflict with the king of the south; but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. 41 He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
Antony and Octavius made a pact with a third party (Marcus Aemilius Lepidus) to rule Rome after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE. In the civil war that followed Caesar’s death, they defeated the assassins’ forces in 42 BCE. The next year, Antony fell in love with Egyptian queen Cleopatra. After Antony suffered a military defeat against the Parthians in 36 BCE, he and Octavius had a falling out. Worsening the situation was the fact that, in 32 BCE, Antony divorced his Roman wife, Octavia (the sister of Octavius) and ceded many of the eastern Roman territories to Cleopatra and their children. Finally, in 31 BCE, a new civil war broke out between the Roman Senate-supported Octavius and Antony/Cleopatra.
The Roman historian Plutarch wrote that the first move in the war was made by Antony (at the insistence of Cleopatra). Thus we see that the “king of the South” indeed first attacked the “king of the North.” The Roman Senate quickly pronounced Antony an outlaw and declared war on Cleopatra.
In this war, Herod supported Antony and sent supplies to his forces. He wished to join Antony for a final showdown with Octavius, but Antony dispatched him and his troops to fight the Nabatean king Malichus I.
Despite the fact that each side had assembled large infantry forces, Plutarch records that these infantry were not engaged at all in the short war. Although his generals advised Antony to use his overwhelming infantry advantage to defeat Octavius, Antony decided to prosecute the war primarily with ships in order to satisfy the request of Cleopatra. Thus the conflict was decided by chariots, horsemen, and in a major naval battle, approximately 630 ships. After the navy of Antony and Cleopatra was routed off the promontory of Actium in Greece on September 2, 31 BCE, the infantry deserted and never saw battle.
Seeing that Antony was all but defeated, Herod helped Quintus Didius, the Roman governor of Syria, prevent a troop of Antony’s gladiators from reaching Egypt to aid Antony. Herod then undertook a dangerous sea voyage in winter 30 BCE to meet with Octavius on the Greek island of Rhodes. Herod came to him humbly and stated that he would be as loyal to Octavius as he had previously been to Antony. Octavius accepted Herod’s pledge and promised him continued rule over Judea.
The course Octavius took after his victory over Antony and Cleopatra accurately follows the prophecy. He passed through Syria, Judea (the “glorious land”), and Egypt in his pursuit of the pair. However, the lands of Edom, Moab, and Ammon were not invaded during this excursion. A later expedition into these areas (about 25 BCE), under the command of Aelius Gallus along with 500 troops from Herod, was not successful and no further efforts were made against them.
43 He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt; and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall follow in his train.
Octavius captured the riches of Egypt with his victory over Antony and Cleopatra. He celebrated his triumph in Rome in 29 BCE. His general, Cornelius Balbus, later took Libya and Ethiopia for Rome.
44 Tidings from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go forth with great fury to exterminate and utterly destroy many.
Having updated the story flow in verses 40-43 to show the Roman dominance of Judea and the end of the “king of the South,” the prophecy reverts to its earlier subject, Herod the king. The “tidings from the East” which troubled Herod was the news from the magi of the “King of the Jews”. Matt. 2:3 “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him”. In fury Herod murdered many – Matt. 2:16 “Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under.”
The “tidings from the North” came from Rome where his oldest son Antipater sent letters claiming that two of his other sons, were plotting against him. Herod had the two sons killed. A little later Herod executed Antipater and 300 of his supporters.
45 And he shall pitch the tabernacle of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; but he shall come to his portion, and there is none to deliver him” (Septuagint)
The end of Herod’s life was documented by Josephus. After years of suffering from a painful disease (probably syphilis), Herod finally attempted to take his own life . He was stopped by his cousin Achiab and died painfully.
Daniel 11 ends with the palace of Herod between God’s mountain and the sea where Herod meets his death.
“He will pitch his royal tents between the sea and the beautiful holy mountain, but he will meet his end with no one to help him.” (Holman version)
In recent times they have found Herod’s tomb at Herodion. Herod built Herodion at the highest point of the mountains in the Judean desert, elevated and looking down on Jerusalem in honour of himself.
“The dark days of Herod” are placed in contrast to the days of Jesus – the light of the world. Herod was proud and lifted up, his palace looked down on Jerusalem. Jesus was born in a stable. His entry into Jerusalem was “humble and riding on a donkey”. God in His wisdom elevates the humble and brings down the proud.
As with the prophecy of the Image there is a gap from Roman times when Jesus was “cut off”, until the time of the 10 toes Arab kings at the end of time – “In the days of those kings God will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed”. Daniel 11 concludes in Roman times with Herod, bringing us to the time of Christ (first coming). Daniel 12 concerns the time of the end (the last ‘7’ of the 70 week prophecy. The details are sealed from Daniel but unsealed by Jesus. We are now in the last days – the days of the ten toe Kings (second coming) the last half of the final ‘7’ – see Daniel 12 “Scroll Unsealed” https://youtu.be/Mc8cQEvnJ_U
See also Explanation of Herod in Revelation 12 – Great Sign of the Woman in Heaven