-A. Ralph Johnson  


I. MEDES AND PERSIANS EMPIRE (Compare the “ram” in Daniel 8)


11:2. Three kings shall stand up in Persia (map)

(Cf. 10:1. Begins in the third year of Cyrus king of Persia)




Darius Hystaspis


Fourth shall be richer than they all


-Xerxes (480 B.C.)


And when he is waxed strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece.


-He probably equipped the largest army ever assembled, perhaps not less than five million.



 (Compare the “goat” with the notable horn in Daniel 8)


11:3. And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.


-Alexander the Great, son of Philip of Macedon began his reign when 20 years old and expanded it to include Asia, Egypt, Persia, into India by age 32. (Compare the “notable horn” in Daniel 8)


11:4. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken,


-He died at Babylon on his return journey 323 B.C..


and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity nor according to his dominion wherewith he ruled; for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others besides these.


-It did not pass to his descendents.


-His empire was divided among four of his generals.


Antigonus, in Asia Minor, tried to seize all but was killed at the battle of Ipsus by the others who then divided the kingdom four ways:


(1) Cassander assumed the government of Macedon, Thessaly & Greece in the East.


(2) Lysimachus took part of Thrace, Asia Minor and Cappadocia in the North


(3) Ptolemy Lagus took Egypt in the South


(4) Seleucus Nicator, a general of Ptolemy Lagus, was given his place in the east over Syria, Babylonia, Media, Susiana, Armenia, a part of Cappadocia, Cilicia. (From the Hellespont to the Indies)


11:5 And the king of the south shall be strong, (map)


Ptolemy Soter of Egypt


And one of his princes;

And he shall be strong above him, and have dominion;

His dominion shall be a great dominion.


-Seleucus Nicator, prince of Alexander


11:6. And at the end of years they shall join themselves together;


-In the reigns of Antiochus Theos and Ptolemy Philadelphus.


And the daughter of the king of the south


-Bernice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus


Shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement:


-Married to Antiochus Theos of Syria after putting away his former wife, Laodice, and to disinherit her children.


But she shall not retain the strength of her arm;

Neither shall he stand, nor his arm;

But she shall be given up and he that begat her,

And he that strengthened her in those times.


-Ptolemy died two years later.

-Antiochus restored Laodice and put away Bernice.

-He was then poisoned by Laodice.

-Bernice fled with her children to Daphne where she was killed.


11:7. But out of a Shoot from her roots shall one stand up in his place,


-Ptolemy Euergotes, brother of Bernice


Who shall come unto the army,

And shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north,


-Seleucus Callinicus


And shall deal against them, and shall prevail:


-He conquered most of Syria


11:8. And also their gods, with their molten images, And with their goodly vessels of silver and of gold, shall he carry captive into Egypt; And he shall refrain some years from the king of the north. (Or, “He shall continue more years than the king of the north.”


-He reigned 25 years, -four more than Seleucus.


11:9. And he shall come into the realm of the king of the south,

(or, “So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom”)


But he shall return into his own land.


-When sedition arose in Egypt.


11:10. And his sons shall war,


-Seleucus Ceranus & Antichus the Great, sons of Seleucus Callinicus

(“his” here is difficult)


And shall assemble a multitude of great forces,

Which shall come on, and overflow, and pass through;

-(or, “one shall certainly come”)


-Seleucus died and Antichus (age 15) pressed the war.


And they shall return and war, even to his fortress.


11:11. And the king of south shall be moved with anger


-Ptolemy Philopator


and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north; and he shall set forth a great multitude, and the multitude shall be given into his hand.


-Battle at Rapna victory over Antiochus in 217 B.C.


11:12. And the multitude shall be lifted up, and his heart shall be exalted; and he shall cast down tens of thousands, but he shall not prevail.


-His people were dissatisfied at peace made with Antiochus.


11:13. And the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former; and he shall come on at the end of the times, even of years,


-203 B.C.


with great army and with much substance.


11:14. And in those times there shall many stand up


-Philip of Macedon who conspired with Antiochus


-Scopas the Aetolian, the army commander, foiled by Aristomenes, the prime minister


-and Agathocles who excited a rebellion in Egypt


against the king of the south:


-Ptolemy Epiphanes


also the children of the violent among thy people shall lift themselves up to establish the vision; but they shall fall.


-The Jews would rebel against Egypt but not gain independence.


11:15. So the king of the north shall come ,


-Antiochus the Great


and cast up a mound, and take a well fortified city:

and the forces of the south shall not stand,


-Scopas, a general of Ptolemy defeated at Paneas 198 A.D.


neither his chosen people,


-His best hand-picked men


neither shall there be any strength to stand.


11:16. But he that cometh against him


-Antiochus the Great against Scopas


shall do according to his own will,

and none shall stand before him;

and he shall stand in the glorious land,




and in his hand shall be destruction.


11:17.  And he shall set his face to come

with the strength of his whole kingdom,

and with him equitable conditions;

and he shall perform them:

and he shall give him the daughter of women, to corrupt her;


-Cleopatra given to Ptolemy Epiphanes, son of Ptolemy Phillopator


but she shall not stand, neither be for him.


-She did not stand with her father's designs.


11:18. After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many:


-war with the Romans


but a prince shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease;


-Scipio Asiaticus (Roman), brother of Scipio Africanus who fought against Hanabal.


yea moreover, he shall cause his reproach to turn upon him.


-Complete overthrow of Antiochus the great in battle of Magnesia, B.C. 190. He was compelled even to give his son, Epiphanes, as hostage and to pay the Romans tribute.


11:19. Then he shall turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land;

but he shall stumble and fall, and shall not be found.


-Died plundering temple of Elymais


11:20. Then shall stand up in place one


-Seleucus Philopator, eldest son of Antiochus The Great


that shall cause an exactor to pass through the glory of the kingdom;


-A raiser of taxes who sought to appropriate the wealth of the temple to help pay the Roman tribute.


but within few days he shall be destroyed,


-His reign was only about 11 years


neither in anger nor in battle.


-He was poisoned by Holiodorus


11:21. And in his place shall stand up a contemptible person,


-Antiochus Epiphanes (the “Illustrious” 175-163 B.C.), son of Seleucius Philopator, seized the throne. He had been freed by the Romans and replaced by Demetrius,


to whom they had not given the honor of the kingdom:


-The true heir of the throne was Demetrius.


but he shall come in time of security,

and shall obtain the kingdom by flatteries.


11:22. And the overwhelming forces shall be overwhelmed from before him,

and shall be broken;

yea also the prince of the covenant.


-Probably the king of Egypt who's covenant with Antiochus the Great had been overthrown.


11:23. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully;


-Antiochus repudiated pledges of Coelo-Syria and Palestine to Egypt to Ptolemy Lagus by treaty in 301 B.C. and Antiochus the Great, in dowry of Cleopatra as queen of Egypt.


for he shall come up, and shall become strong, with a small people.


-Antiochus gradually took over Egypt with a small force.


11:24. In time of security shall he come

even upon the fattest places of the province;

and he shall do that which his fathers have not done,

nor his fathers' fathers;

he shall scatter among them prey, and spoil, and substance:

yea, he shall devise his devices against the strongholds,

even for a time.


-He withdrew from Egypt when the Romans threatened him and the Jews rebelled at the report of his death, vowing to punish them.


11:25. 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 war in battle


-Ptolemy Physcon


with an exceeding great and mighty army;

but he shall not stand;

for they shall devise devices against him.


11:26. Yea they that eat of his dainties shall destroy him,


-Antiochus held the rightful heir, Ptolemy Philometor, and fostered discontent against Ptolemy Physcon.


and his army shall overflow;


-No effective control against Antiochus


and many shall fall down slain.


11:27. And as for both these kings,


-Antiochus and Ptolemy Philometor, who he controlled.


their hearts shall be to do mischief,

and they shall speak lies at one table:


-Antiochus represented Ptolemy Philometor as the rightful king to weaken the power of Ptolemy Physcon


but it shall not prosper;

for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.


11:28. Then shall he return into his land with great substance;


-Antiochus had conquered Memphis, plundered its wealth and left Ptolemy Philometor in control of lower Egypt.


and his heart shall be against the holy covenant;

and he shall do his pleasure, and return to his own land.


11:29. At the time appointed he shall return, and come into the south;

but it shall not be in the latter time as it was in the former.


-Ptolemy Philometor, who Antiochus had left in Egypt, joined with his brother, Ptolemy Physcon, and they obtained help from abroad.


11:30. For ships of Kittim shall come against him;


-The Romans, who controlled the islands threatened to intervene.


therefore he shall be grieved, and shall return,


-On his return from Egypt


and have indignation against the holy covenant,

and shall do his pleasure: he shall even return,

and have regard unto them that forsake the holy covenant.


-He placed Jews in power who were backed him.


11:31. And forces shall stand on his part,

and they shall profane the sanctuary, even the fortress,


-Apollonius, the commander, polluted the holy city.


and shall take away the continual burnt-offering,

and they shall set up the abomination that maketh desolate.


-Atheneaus dedicated the temple to Jupiter, set up a pagan altar and sacrificed to Jupiter. The Jewish offerings were prohibited. A pig was sacrificed on the altar.


11:32. And such as do wickedly against the covenant

shall he pervert by flatteries;

but the people that know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.


-Judas Maccabeus (“The hammer”) and his family.


11:33. And they that are wise among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by spoil, many days.


11:34. Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help;

but many shall join themselves unto them with flatteries.


11:35. And some of them that are wise shall fall,

to refine them, and to purify, and to make them white,

even to the time of the end;

because it is yet for the time appointed.


11:36. And the king shall do according to his will

and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god,

and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods;

and he shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished;

for that which is determined shall be done.


11:37. Neither shall he regard the gods of his fathers,

nor the desire of women, nor regard any god;

for he shall magnify himself above all.


11:38. But in his place shall he honor the god of fortresses;


-The god of war


and the god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor

with a gold, and silver, and with precious stones and pleasant things.


11:39. And he shall deal with the strongest fortresses

by the help of a foreign god;

whosoever acknowledgeth him he will increase with glory;

and he shall cause them to rule over many,

and shall divide the land for a price.


11:40. And at the time of the end


-At the time of the end of these events.


shall the king of the south contend with him;

and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind,

with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships;

and he shall enter into the countries,

and shall overflow and pass through.


11:41. He shall enter also into the glorious land,

and many countries shall be overthrown;

but these shall be delivered out of his hand:

Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.


11:42. he shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries;

and the land of Egypt shall not escape.


11:43. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver,

and over all the precious things of Egypt;

and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.


11:44. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him;

and he shall go forth with great fury to destroy

and utterly to sweep away many.


11:45. And he shall plant the tents of his palace

between the sea and the glorious holy mountain;

yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.


-Antiochus died


12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up,

the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people;


-The Jews were delivered by the protector of Israel


and there shall be a time of trouble,

such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time:


-The destruction of Jerusalem and tribulation under the Romans (cf. Matt 24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24) perhaps including the whole time of trouble of the Jews down at least to the time of their re-establishment of their nation.


and at that time thy people shall be delivered,

every one that shall be found written in the book.


-Christians heeded the warning of Jesus escaped the city to Pella.  This may include the larger picture of the “remnant” (Rom. 9:27; Isa. 10:22 etc) –all who have found refuge in Christ (Rom. 9:7-8; Philip. 3:3).


12:2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.


-At the resurrection


12:3. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.


-Eternal life with Christ


Bibliography: Albert Barnes Notes