“I will show you the truth. Behold, three more kings shall arise in Persia, and a fourth shall be far richer than all of them. And when he has become strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece” Daniel 11:2
Pastor Chris helps us understand the unfolding drama of kings and their empires prophesied in Daniel 11. It’s like a soap opera or mini-series filled with treachery, back-stabbing, palace intrigue, and battles galore. All of this historical detail demonstrates God’s sovereignty over the nations and rulers of any given generation. This lays the groundwork for the coming of Jesus.
Chris shows us how we can draw a simple reality from the people of God who suffered under these brutal, bloodthirsty, conniving rulers – know God, stand firm, and take action. No matter who is in power, God’s will is not delayed or diverted, and He promises to give His People strength to remain overcomers!
History of the Prophecy
Ancient Empires – Jerusalem Pressed in the Middle
- Persia – as in the vision, the Persian kingdom will rise first
Daniel 11:1–2 (ESV)
1 “And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him. 2 “And now I will show you the truth. Behold, three more kings shall arise in Persia, and a fourth shall be far richer than all of them. And when he has become strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece.
- Greece – as in the vision of the statue, the Greek Empire will be vast, rising fast
Daniel 11:3 (ESV)
3 Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion and do as he wills.
- Alexander the Great – as prophesied, this little-horn Emperor both rose and fell quickly
Daniel 11:4 (ESV)
4 And as soon as 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 authority with which he ruled, for his kingdom shall be plucked up and go to others besides these.
Daniel 11:5 (ESV)
5 “Then the king of the south shall be strong, but one of his princes shall be stronger than he and shall rule, and his authority shall be a great authority.
Daniel 11:6–8 (ESV)
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 an agreement. But she shall not retain the strength of her arm, and he and his arm shall not endure, but she shall be given up, and her attendants, he who fathered her, and he who supported her in those times. 7 “And from a branch from her roots one 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. 8 He shall also carry off to Egypt their gods with their metal images and their precious vessels of silver and gold, and for some years he shall refrain from attacking the king of the north.
Daniel 11:9 (ESV)
9 Then the latter shall come into the realm of the king of the south but shall return to his own land.
Daniel 11:10–16 (ESV)
10 “His sons shall wage war and assemble a multitude of great forces, which shall keep coming and overflow and pass through, and again shall carry the war as far as his fortress. 11 Then the king of the south, moved with rage, shall come out and fight against the king of the north. And he shall raise a great multitude, but it shall be given into his hand. 12 And when the multitude is taken away, 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 first. And after some years he shall come on with a great army and abundant supplies. 14 “In those times many shall rise against the king of the south, and the violent among your own people shall lift themselves up in order to fulfill 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 best troops, for there shall be no strength to stand. 16 But he who comes against him shall do as he wills, and none shall stand before him. And he shall stand in the glorious land, with destruction in his hand.
Daniel 11:17 (ESV)
17 He shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and he shall bring terms of an agreement 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.
Daniel 11:18–20 (ESV)
18 Afterward he shall turn his face to the coastlands and shall capture many of them, but a commander shall put an end to his insolence. Indeed, he shall turn his insolence back upon him. 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. 20 “Then shall arise in his place one who shall send an exactor of tribute for the glory of the kingdom. But within a few days he shall be broken, neither in anger nor in battle.
- Antiochus Foreshadows the Antichrist – he uses flattery to woo ungodly people to himself, in turn gaining power, while mocking God and his chosen people
Daniel 11:21–24 (ESV)
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. 22 Armies shall be utterly swept away before him and broken, even the prince of the covenant. 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. 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.
Daniel 11:25–26 (ESV)
25 And he shall stir up his power and his heart 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. 26 Even those who eat his food shall break him. His army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain.
Daniel 11:27–28 (ESV)
27 And as for the two kings, their hearts shall be bent on doing evil. They shall speak lies at the same table, but to no avail, for the end is yet to be at the time appointed. 28 And he shall return to his land with great wealth, but his heart shall be set against the holy covenant. And he shall work his will and return to his own land.
Daniel 11:29–31 (ESV)
29 “At the time appointed he shall return and come into the south, but it shall not be this time as it was before. 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 pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant. 31 Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.
3 Steps every Follower of God must take to Thrive in Difficult Times
- Know God – have a daily, deep and abiding relationship with God, know Him through His Word, His People, and His Spirit
Daniel 11:32 (ESV)
32 He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.
Philippians 3:8 (ESV)
8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
- Stand Firm – by knowing God, you will think to stand firm when the challenges of life come
Ephesians 6:13 (ESV)
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
- Take Action – walking in-step with the Spirit will provide divine direction, and faith to follow-through, when you face tough choices
James 2:17 (ESV)
17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Colossians 3:23–24 (ESV)
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Daniel 11:33–35 (ESV)
33 And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. 34 When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, 35 and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.
- With so much historical detail, what stood out to you as some important points of this prophecy given to Daniel?
- How do you think the people of Jerusalem felt being in the middle of 200 years of wars between the northern and southern empires?
- What might we learn about the end-times through the account of Antiochus (the one who surrendered and then desolated Jerusalem in his rage)?
- How do you suppose God’s people today, and in future generations, can be prepared to withstand the forces of this world (and Satan) coming against the church?
- Focus this week on how to 1) Know God, 2) Stand Firm, and 3) Take Action. Use the scriptures provided (or, research more). Ask God to help you make the best choices everyday. Thank Him for choosing you!
3 Questions to Ponder for the Entire Series in Daniel
- Who or what is supreme in your life?
- Does your life portray this?
- What spirit are you following?