Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Kings of the North and South

Daniel 11 is not so much about kingdoms as it is the story of individual rulers and their exploits. No other chapter gives so much detail on such a large span of history. And it was all foretold long before it ever happened!

Here I have posted the part of Daniel 11 that presents the kings of the north and south. I have supplied the names of the individuals most likely referred to, either replacing the pronouns with a name, or inserting a name in brackets. To establish the setting, I begin with verse 1, although the kings of the north and south don't appear until verse 5.
1     Also I [Gabriel] in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
 2    And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings [Cambyses II, Smerdis, Darius I] in Persia; and the fourth [Xerxes] shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.
 3    And a mighty king [Alexander the Great] shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
 4    And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.
 5    And the king of the south [Ptolemy I Soter] shall be strong, and one of Alexander’s princes [Seleucus I Nicator]; and Seleucus I Nicator shall be strong above Ptolemy I Soter, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
 6    And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's [Ptolemy II Philadelphus] daughter [Berenice] of the south shall come to the king of the north [Antiochus II Theos] to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.
 7    But out of a branch of her roots shall one [Ptolemy III Euergetes] stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north [Seleucus II Callinicus], and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:
 8    And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and Ptolemy III Euergetes shall continue more years than the king of the north [Seleucus II Callinicus].
 9    Also the king of the north [Seleucus II Callinicus] shall come to the kingdom of the king of the south [Ptolemy III Euergetes], but shall return to his own land.
 10  But Seleucus II Callinicus’ sons [Seleucus III Ceraunus and Antiochus III Magnus] shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one [Antiochus III Magnus] shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.
 11  And the king of the south [Ptolemy IV Philopator] shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with Antiochus III Magnus, even with the king of the north: and Antiochus III Magnus shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into Ptolemy IV Philopator’s hand.
 12  And when Ptolemy IV Philopator hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.
 13  For the king of the north [Antiochus III Magnus] shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.
14   And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south [Ptolemy V Epiphanes]: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.
15   So the king of the north [Antiochus III Magnus] shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.
[At this point, the focus of Gabriel’s narration shifts to the West. Except for a brief appearance of the king of the South in verse 25, the kings of the North and South are not seen again until “the time of the end.”  We now pick up the continuation of their story in verse 40. For the West in Daniel 11:16-39, see my November 7, 2013 post.]
40   And at the time of the end shall the king of the south [Murad Bey] push at Napoleon Bonaparte: and the king of the north [Sultan Selim III] shall come against Bonaparte like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
41   He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
42   He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
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.
44   But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble Sultan Abdulmecid I: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
45   And a yet to be determined king of the north shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

[I used the New King James Version in verse 9. Everything else is from the King James Version.]

Sunday, March 2, 2014

How to Know God

1. Fill your mind daily with God's word.
2. Totally give Him your heart.
3. Learn to pray as Jesus prayed.
4. Live to bring others to Him.

"It is in doing Christ's work that the church has the promise of His presence. Go teach all nations, He said; 'and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.' To take His yoke is one of the first conditions of receiving His power. The very life of the church depends upon her faithfulness in fulfilling the Lord's commission. To neglect this work is surely to invite spiritual feebleness and decay. Where there is no active labor for others, love wanes, and faith grows dim." DA 825